Copyright is another one of the asset types in the intellectual property family that is important for the owner to identify and protect. The following brief introductions were excerpted from the US Copyright Office at http://www.copyright.gov.
What Is Copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of "original works of authorship", including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.
Who Can Claim Copyright?
Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright.
Copyrightable works include the following categories:
- 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
- architectural works
These categories should be viewed broadly. For example, computer programs and most "compilations" may be registered as "literary works"; maps and architectural plans may be registered as "pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works."
To show a copyright notice the following elements are needed:
- The symbol © (the letter C in a circle), or the word "Copyright," or the abbreviation "Copr."; and
- The year of first publication of the work. In the case of compilations or derivative works incorporating previously published material, the year date of first publication of the compilation or derivative work is sufficient. The year date may be omitted where a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work, with accompanying textual matter, if any, is reproduced in or on greeting cards, postcards, stationery, jewelry, dolls, toys, or any useful article; and
- The name of the owner of copyright in the work, or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner.
Example: © 2008 John Doe or : © 2009 Rochester Institute of Technology