Are you an artist, musician, writer, software developer, or creator of content? If so, you need to understand copyrights. Copyrights protect the expression of your ideas, and therefore, your work.

A Copyright Protects the Expression of an idea “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression” 17 USC § 102.

Protects expressions such as:

(1) Literary Works

(2) Musical Works

(3) Dramatic Works

(4) Pictorial, Graphic, and Sculptural Works

(5) Pantomimes & Choreographic Works Audiovisual Works

(6) Sound Recordings

(7) Motion Pictures

(8) Architectural Works


What are the benefits of a Copyright?

The Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

  • To make copies of your work, to reproduce the work in copies or phono records;
  • To create derivative works based upon the original work;
  • To distribute copies of the work to other by sale or other transfer of ownership, such as by rental, lease, or lending;
  • To publicly perform the work.  For literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
  • To display the copyrighted 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 audiovisual work; and
  • In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.


Ownership in a Copyright:

Copyright ownership vest in the creator of the work, unless it is a work made for hire.

  • Independent Contractor or employee?
  • Work made for hire agreement must be in writing and signed
  • Joint Work: law assumes each owns an equal share unless assigned in writing
  • Ownership of the physical work is not ownership over the copyrights.
  • License – retains ownership in the copyright
  • Assignment – transfers ownership of the copyright


If you are in the business of content creation, art, music, writer, speaker, or software developer and have any questions, or need immediate legal assistance, please contact us today at (8888) 666-0062 or via e-mail at [email protected].

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The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.


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