Sunday, May 4, 2008

What is Copyright?

Copyright protects creative or artistic works. You should only copy or use a copyrighted work with the copyright owner's permission.

You can copyright:
-literature, including novels, instruction manuals, computer programs, song lyrics, newspaper articles and some types of database
-drama, including dance or mime
-art, including paintings, engravings, photographs, sculptures, collages, architecture, technical drawings, diagrams, maps and logos
-layouts used to publish a work, for a book
-recordings of a work, including sound and film
-broadcasts of a work

Copyright applies to any medium. This means that you must not reproduce copyright protected work in another medium without permission. This includes, publishing photographs on the internet, making a sound recording of a book, and so on.

Copyright does not protect ideas for a work. However, when an idea is fixed, for example in writing, copyright automatically protects it. This means that you do not have to apply for copyright.

A copyright protected work can have more than one copyright, or another intellectual property (IP) right, connected to it.

For example, an album of music can have separate copyrights for individual songs, sound recordings, artwork, and so on. Whilst copyright can protect the artwork of your logo, you could also register the logo as a trade mark.

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