Copyright Basics

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a form of legal protection that allows authors and other creators to control their original, creative work. You can read more at the U.S. Copyright Office Website.

Copyright Framework

Where should you being with a copyright situation? The following framework provides questions to ask when analyzing a work:

  1. Is the work protected by copyright?
  2. Is there a license that covers my use?
  3. Is there a specific exemption in copyright law that covers my use?
  4. Is my use covered by fair use?
  5. Do I need permission from the copyright owner for my use?

More details on these questions can be viewed here: Copyright Framework (pdf download).

The Exclusive Rights of Copyright:

Copyright occurs automatically at the creation of any qualifying work. View the video below for details:

Your Exclusive Rights of Copyright:

  1. You can make copies of your work;
  2. Distribute copies of the work;
  3. Create derivative works;
  4. Display your work publicly;
  5. Perform the work publicly;
  6. Perform by means of digital/audio transmission.

Have More Questions?

See our U.S. Copyright Basics Course for more examples and to test your knowlege.