Creating an original piece of work in music, drama, literature, research work, film, design or architecture is a big task which not everyone can perform. Therefore, creativity is always at the risk of being copied and reproduced by infringers.
Sometimes the author gets so engrossed with the project he is working on that he forgets the legalities of the matter. The work under process faces many problems from infringers which can be avoided by acquiring legal protection.
If you wish to add to your legal knowledge, the best way is to consult a copyright attorney. Legal protection can help you understand how to protect your lyrics, photos, paintings and manuscripts and secure them in a way that no one can steal your idea; how to mail your work to yourself to keep a record with dates of your created work; explains the difference between copyright, trademark and patent; tells you how you are violating someone else’s copyright when you cut and paste work off a website.
If any of this has been your concern, this article may help you. But this does not provide the technical legal information. Consulting an attorney is the best method to obtain legal protection for your creativity that you have put in a tangible form.
What is a Copyright?
A copyright protects the original literary and artistic works of an author. Whether the work is published or not, it is copyrighted when it is put down as an expression. In terms of copyright, an “author” is someone who creates something original. Singers, painters, designers, publishers and musicians are all considered authors
Elements that can be copyrighted are all original literary and artistic works in tangible forms. These include songs, movies, sculptures, artwork, CDs, photographs, manuscripts, poetry, emails and letters. Titles of books and songs are not copyrightable. Ideas are a non-tangible form hence, they cannot be copyrighted either.
When a piece of work is saved in the form of writing on paper, CD or as a computer file, it takes up a tangible form. As soon as an idea changes into an expression in a tangible form, the creator acquires its copyright. Furthermore, this ownership should be registered with the US Copyright Office so it comes in public record and makes it easier to claim infringement if need arises.
A photographer owns the copyright to a picture he takes, but the person captured in the picture has full right to object to the inappropriate use of his picture or even copies produced by the photographer without the permission of the person concerned.