Copyright is a form of legal protection provided by United State law (Title 17 U.S.C. §512(c)(2)) that protects an owner’s right to control the reproduction, distribution, performance, display and transmission of a copyrighted work.
The public, in turn, is provided with specific rights for “Fair Use” of copyrighted works. Copyrighted works protect “original works of authorship” and include:
Specific information on copyright law and fair use may be found at the following sites:
- Books, articles and other writings
- Songs and other musical works
- Movies and Television productions
- Pictures, graphics and drawings
- Computer software
- Pantomimes and choreographic works
- Sculptural and architectural works
The copyright law provides the owner of copyright in a work the exclusive right:
The copyright law states that “anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner ...is an infringer of the copyright or right of the author”.
- To reproduce the work in copies;
- To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
- To distribute copies of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
- To perform the work publicly;
- To display the copyrighted work publicly;
- In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.
Generally, under the law, one who engages in any of these activities without obtaining the copyright owner's permission may be liable for infringement.