Copyrights

Jacey Cauhourn, Maddie Cook, and Shaylynn Allen

Copyrights are around you all the time!

What kind of things are copyrighted?

Frank Lloyd Wright

Wright was born June 8, 1867 and died April 9, 1959. He was known for his very modern style of arcitecture. His house and floor plans are copyrighted, therefore, though many people would like to duplicate this type of house, no one is able to.

What is a copyright?

A copyright is a form of protection granted under the U.S. Constitution. They are granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. They protect both published and unpublished works.

What does the copyright protect?

The copyright protects original works of authorship. This includes poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. The copyright is different from a patent or a trademark. A patent protects inventions or discoveries and a trademark protects phrases, symbols, or designs that distinguish companies from others. The copyright protects authorship of literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. In general, copyrights last the length of an author's life plus 70 years. The author does not need to renew their copyright.

How did the copyright come about?

Early History: Handwritten books were produced prior to the 15th century. Neither the books of the authors were in any way legally protected.

Mid 15th Century: Johann Gutenburg invented the printing press and revolutionized the world by making the printed word accessible to the public.

1662: The number of printing presses grew in England and the English government sought to control the publication of books. The Licensing Act of 1662 introduced a register of liscensed books and required a deposit and a copy of a book before it was registered. This act lapsed in 1695 which lead to a lax in government control of books.

1710: The British Parliment passed the first law recognizing the rights of authors called the Statute of Anne. This act established the principles of authors' ownership of a copyright.

1787: James Madison inserted a provision, "to secure to literary authors their copyrights for a limited time," to the U.S. Constitution.

How does one obtain a copyright?

Step One: CREATE! Express your creativity by writing a book, painting a picture, or composing a song.

Step Two: REGISTER! Complete an application either online or at the U.S. Copyright Office. Make sure to include the correct fee. Fees can be found on the U.S. Copyright Office. Also, do not forget to include non-returnable copies of your work.

Step Three: SEND! Send the package to:

Library of Congress

Copyright Office

101 Independence Ave, SE.

Washington, D.C.


The Copyright Office recieves your package and your registration becomes effective that day. The Copyright Office recieves about 2,400 registrations per day. The financial department processes your payment and the office examines your application and makes sure it meets the requirements of Copyright law and regulations.


Your registration is assigned a number and a certificate of registration is issued. You will recieve the certificate approximately four months after your application is sumbitted.

What is copyright infringement?

If you were to use a copyrighted work without proper authorization, this is called copyright infringement and the owner is entitled to bring an infringement action against you. If the issue is brought to court, the infringer will have to pay the amount of money they made from using the work. If the copyright is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, the infringer may also have to pay the owner what is called statutory damages. These are amounts set by judges that will usually be higher. In addition, the infringer may be found of criminal charges. Keep in mind that there are some circumstances that you may quote author's work, but the Copyright Office prefer that you obtain permission.

Review Game! Would this be copyrighted or not?