What can be Protected Architectural designs, Archival and manuscript materials, Choreography, Dramatic Works, Images (photographs, drawings, prints, design plans), Literary works, Moving images, Music, Sculpture, Software, Sound recordings
Who can Obtain Protection Author or Creator of Employer of either (if it is a work for hire)
Requirements for Protection Original (not copied) and Creative
Bars to Obtaining Rights Work must be in a tangible form - paper, film, CD, DVD, Clay, Canvas etc. Can’t be for utilitarian articles unless the aesthetic features are separable from and can exist independently of the article
Scope of Protection Prevent others from distributing, exhibiting more than one copy, copying and projecting more than one copy, copying and transmitting the image on the Web, performing the protected works, producing derivative works, reproducing or copying the protective work
Area of Protection Global - virtually the USA and all Foreign Countries
How are Rights Obtained Automatic upon creation - but requires registration with the US Copyright Office before holder has the right to sue any infringer for damages
Duration of Protection 70 years beyond death of creator In the case of a corporate author the shorter of either 95 years from date of publication, or 120 years from date of creation - NO renewal terms available
How Long to Obtain Virtually immediate
Average Cost to Maintain No Maintenance Fees
Registration Required No - but strongly suggested if expecting any infringement that will do monetary harm to the holder
State Protection Available No
Basic Theory Can’t protect the idea just it’s form of expression
Is Use Required No
Is Notification Required No longer required - but use of copyright notice and publishing is suggested © if posted, eliminates innocent infringer defense claims
Are Rights Assignable Can be Licensed or transferred but visual arts creators retain limited rights over modifications or destruction to their art
Test for Infringement A substantial portion of the copyrighted work was copied and there is a substantial similarity between the works
Miscellaneous Notes Sometimes a design patent offers better protection If an author or creator was hired to produce an artistic work, the copyright may flow to the employer May have better protection with a design patent