1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

The Basics About Copyright Registration

What is a copyright? Do I need copyright protection? How do I register?

By

Pay/copyright computer keyboard
Peter Dazeley/ Photographer's Choice/ Getty Images
A copyright is a form of intellectual property law which protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software and architecture. Copyright law does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.

Copyright or Patent?

There are three types of protection for intellectual property. Property that a person creates with their mind or intellect.
  • patents protect inventions and improvements to existing inventions
  • trademarks are brand names and/or designs which are applied to products you can sell or services that you offer
  • copyright protection covers literary, artistic, and musical works.
  • Examples of Copyrights
  • Gone With The Wind - the book and film
  • System of A Down - the band's recordings and artwork
  • Video games are all works that are copyrighted.

Copyright Protection

Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form so that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. The moment you write it, paint it, or put it on the internet, your work is copyright protected.

Library of Congress

In the United States, the Library of Congress officialy registers copyrights which now last for the life of the author plus 70 years. No one else can profit or copy your ideas without your permission during this time period.

Do I Need to Register?

Your works of art, music, etc, all have copyright protection with or without formal copyright registration with the Library of Congress or any other copyright office. However, copyright registration adds proof of copyright ownership and aids you in fighting copyright infringement. Copyright literally means the right to copy.

Related Video
Learn the Basics of Event Planning
Making Homemade Pasta
  1. About.com
  2. Money
  3. Inventors
  4. Need a Patent or Trademark?
  5. Copyrights
  6. US Copyright Office
  7. The Basics of Copyright Registration

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.