Copying often seems to do the trick for some people, but in the U.S., these offenses are taken seriously and dealt with strictly. According to U.S. copyright law, it is illegal and unlawful to copy a “work of authorship” without any official permission or approval by the authors or inventors.
We have curated a list of five things you were probably not aware of about the U.S. Copyright Law has for you:
Work that cannot be copyright protected:
The law expresses that even though the initial authentic piece of work is protected under the copyright law, the very idea of the work can still be performed and published by other parties. Other individuals can still use a revolutionary idea if not written in a substantial, tangible, or concrete form.
For instance, if you wrote about the invention of a microwave oven in your work, your written document will be protected from being copied by other people, but you can’t do anything about them using your idea of a microwave oven to produce and publish their own work from it as long as it does not steal any content from your work.
You can also get the low-down on the facts about the U.S. Copyright Law on the web or the official U.S copyright Law website.
Privileges granted to copyright owners
The U.S. Copyright Law addresses that it defends and shields the “original work” of the inventors or writers (whether it be musical, academic, literary, dramatic, artistic, pictorial or graphic works, audio or visual works, etc.).
The copyright owners are given authority to publicly display, transmit or perform their work or produce copies and derivative or imitative work constructed from the work.
Copyright infringement, a criminal offense?
Copyright infringement basically translates to an individual using someone else’s work without permission, even if the work in question doesn’t hold a copyright symbol or mark.
People might be aware of this fact, but for those in the back who still don’t know, copying someone’s work is illegal. It is usually handled as a civil matter between the two parties and is dealt with in a court of law. It is against the law to copy small fragments or extensive lengths of someone’s original work, even if the author is given credit.
Infringement is “copying” but if two parties write the same content without any awareness of the other’s work, it is not deemed infringement.
Duration of a copyright
The duration of such copyright protection generally remains valid for 70 years after the respective author or inventor passes away.
In the case of “WFH” which abbreviates “work for hire“(a work specifically ordered or commissioned for use), the copyright laws state the duration of 95 years after publishing or 120 years after the invention.
Although registration is not really needed as the copyright is automatically granted to the respective owner of the authentic and original work, however, it is advised to get it registered.
Registering a copyright ensures that the copyright owner can produce a copy of the work when the need arises from an official government source.
It also augments and adds to the exclusive rights of the original owner of the work. This registration proves fruitful in a variety of ways and is hence recommended.