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Copyright Basics

What is Copyright?

What is copyright?

Copyright is a set of laws designed to protect original works of authorship in a tangible form of expression. These laws offer copyright owners’ protection over how their work is reused. The copyright owner retains the sole right to:

  • Reproduce the work;
  • Prepare derivative works based upon the work;
  • Distribute copies of the work;
  • Display the work;
  • Perform the work publicly (if the work is a literary, musical, dramatic, motion pictures or other audiovisual work. In the case of sound recordings, the owner maintains the right to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.)

 

What Works Are Protected?

Examples of copyrightable works include

• Literary works
• Musical works, including any accompanying words
 • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works
 • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
 • Sound recordings, which are works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds
• Architectural works
 

From Copyright Basics, Circular 1, U.S. Copyright Office, available online at https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf

Director of the Library

Jessica Boyer's picture
Jessica Boyer
Contact:
Phillips Library
16300 Old Emmitsburg Rd
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
301-447-5426

Disclaimer

This guide is not intended to be legal advice. It is designed to provide general information about copyright to consider while researching and teaching in the education field.

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