Easy Guide to Copyright Infringement

Easy Guide to Copyright Infringement

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Easy Guide to Copyright Infringement

A copyright is a fundamental aspect of intellectual property law. Copyrights  grants authors or creators of unique works with an exclusive right to use, sell, reproduce, transfer and license their works. When a person creates a creative work in the form of a motion picture, photograph, book, audio recording, etc., he or she automatically obtains all copyrights pertaining to it. No one else can use that work for their own personal benefit, such as money or recognition.

A copyright period lasts for the entire lifetime of the author, plus 70 years. After that period, a work automatically enters public domain, meaning that it is now up for grabs for use by another individual or entity.

In addition, if a person would like to receive added protection from United States copyright law, he or she can register their work with the U.S. Copyright Office.

What happens when another individual or entity uses a copyrighted product without permission during the valid term of the copyright? If a person uses and benefits off of another person's work, he or she is committing copyright infringement, a penalty punishable by copyright infringement laws. The owner of the copyright may then place charges against the violating party so that damages from the infringement can then be given to the owner.

What Works are Protected?

Copyright infringement laws protect original works of authorship. They must be contained within a typical medium, including:

Literary works

Musical works

Works of drama with music

Pantomimes and choreographic works

Pictures and graphics

Motion Pictures

Sound recordings

Architectural works


Copyright infringement laws do not protect works which have not been placed in a tangible form of expression. Such works may include proper names, ideas, abstract concepts, etc. 

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