What You Need to Know About the Protection of Published and Unpublished Works

What You Need to Know About the Protection of Published and Unpublished Works

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What You Need to Know About the Protection of Published and Unpublished Works

Published and unpublished works in the United States are protected under copyright law. Also, any person from a foreign country that is a member of the same treaty party of the United States is subject to the same copyright law regarding unpublished and published works. Works that may be protected with or without publication include:

         Musical works and any words with it.


         Literary Works.


         Dramatic works and any accompanying music.


         Choreographic works.


         Pictures, graphics and sculptures.


         Motion pictures and audio/visual works.


         Sound recordings.


         Architecture.


The above works may be unpublished yet are still protected under national origin copyright law. Once they are expressed in a tangible medium, they are copyrighted. Any person who creates one of the above works and expresses it as a tangible medium while located in any country is protected by copyright law recognized by the United States.

Published works are protected if they are created by at least one person who is a member of the United States, a member of a treaty party who shares the same copyright laws or is a stateless person. If a picture, graphic
, or sculpture is embodied in a building located in the United States or foreign treaty party member, that picture, graphic, or sculpture is considered published and is protected by copyright law. The same law applies to a sound recording that was first fixed in the United States or a different treaty party member.

Any published work created by the United Nations, one of its specialized agencies, or by the Organization of American States is protected under the same copyright laws as the United States and its treaty partners. Also, the United States President can offer additional copyright protection to members of nations not a part of the treaty party with the United States. 

A President may do this if he sees a foreign country that is not a member of the treaty party decide to offer the same or similar protection that the treaty party offers to its members. In other words, if a non-treaty party country offers a United States creator of a published work the same protection they offer their own citizens, a United States President will return the favor to creators of published work from a non-treaty party nation.

Any non-treaty party nation that does not recognize copyright laws shared by the United States will not be offered additional protection. If a non-treaty party nation publishes a work and a member of the United States or another treaty party nation publishes the same work within thirty days of the original publication in a non-treaty party nation, the published works will be considered to have been first created in the nation belonging to the treaty.

Any derivative published works not created by the original author are not breaking the rules of the treaty party because the copyright protects only the original work and research. Only the original work created by the original author is protected by copyright. Anything added on is not the published work of the original author.


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