Copyright Basics. What Is Copyright?

The full text is found in a PDF document at: www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf

Copyright Basics.  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. This
protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106
of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive
right to do and to authorize others to do the following:
•  To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
•  To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
•  To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or
other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
•  To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and
choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audio?
visual works;
•  To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and
choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural
works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audio?
visual work; and
•  In the case of sound recordings,* to perform the work publicly by means of
a digital audio transmission.
In addition, certain authors of works of visual art have the rights of attribu?
tion and integrity as described in section 106A of the 1976 Copyright Act. For
further information, see Circular 40, Copyright?Registration?for?Works?of?the?
Visual?Arts.
It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright
law to the owner of copyright. These rights, however, are not unlimited in
scope. Sections 107 through 121 of the 1976 Copyright Act establish limitations
on these rights. In some cases, these limitations are specified exemptions from
copyright liability. One major limitation is the doctrine of “fair use,” which
is given a statutory basis in section 107 of the 1976 Copyright Act. In other
instances, the limitation takes the form of a “compulsory license” under which
certain limited uses of copyrighted works are permitted upon payment of
specified royalties and compliance with statutory conditions.

The full text is found in a PDF document at: www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf

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