Inez Harrison This information is c

Found at: 0x1bi.net:70/textfiles/file?law/copyr

                         COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
                           by: Inez Harrison

    [This information is a compilation from various Circulars and Forms
    from the U.S. Copyright Office.]

   쿙OTE:  A great deal of time has been spent gathering this           
          information and should prove to be resourceful for any and   
          all.  If your specific needs are not included, there is      
          information informing you where to get this information from.
          If you have information, from the Copyright Office, not      
          included, I would appreciate it for inclusion.               

                          WHAT IS COPYRIGHT? 

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United
States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of "original works of
authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain
other intellectual work.  This protection is available to both published
and unpublished works.  Section 106 of the Copyright Act generally gives
the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others
to do the following:

-    To reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

-    To prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

-    To distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to
     the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental,
     lease, or lending;

-    To perform the copyrighted work publicly, in the case of
     literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes,
     and motion pictures and other audiovisual works; and

-    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.

Act to the owner of copyright.  These rights, however, are not unlimited
n scope.  Sections 107* through 119 of the Copyright Act establish
limitations on these rights.  In some cases, these limitations are
the doctrine of "fair use", which is given a statutory basis in section
"compulsory license" under which certain limited uses of copyrighted
limitations of any of these rights, consult the Copyright Act or write
to the Copyright Office.

*-Section 107 contains a list of various purposes for which the repro-
criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, etc.   Factors considered

  (1)  the purpose and character of the use, including whether
       such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit
       educational purposes;
  (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
  (3) the amount and substantially of the portion used in
      relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or
      value of the copyrighted work.]

Copyright is not like a patent, where you own the item outright.
making a "PROFIT" on something that you produced.  The limitations
on exclusive copyrights are rather liberal, as long as you are not
trying to make a profit.  The means of transmission or reproduction do
not matter in regard to written works.

Although the courts have considered and ruled upon the fair use
ever emerged.  Indeed, since the doctrine is an equitable rule of

The Committee has amended the first of the criteria to be considered -
"the purpose and character of the use" - to state explicitly that this
factor includes a consideration of "whether such use is of a
commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes."


  (i) Poetry: (a) A complete poem if less than 250 words and if
                  printed on not more than two pages or,
              (b) from a longer poem, an excerpt of not more
                  than 250 words.

  (ii) Prose: (a) Either a complete article, story or essay of less than
                  2,500 words or,
              (b) an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000
                  words or 10% of the work, whichever is less, but in
                  any event a minimum of 500 words.

(Each of the numerical limits stated in "i" and "ii" above may
be expanded to permit the completion of an unfinished line of a

                       WHO CAN CLAIM COPYRIGHT? 

Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed
form; that is, it is an incident of the process of authorship.  The
copyright in the work of authorship "immediately" becomes the property of
the author who created it.  Only the author or those deriving their

     (1)  a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her
          employment; or,

     (2)  a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a
          contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion
          picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a
          supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional
          text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an
          atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument
          signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made
          for hire...

The authors of a joint work are co-owners of the copyright in the work,
unless there is an agreement to the contrary.

Copyright in each separate contribution to a periodical or other
collective work is distinct from copyright in the collective work as a


-    Mere ownership of a book, manuscript, painting, or any other copy
     or phonorecord does not give the possessor the copyright.  The law
     provides that transfer of ownership of any material object that
     embodies a protected work does not of itself convey any rights in
     the copyright.

-    Minors who claim copyright, but state laws may regulate the
     business dealings involving copyright owned by minors.  For
     information on relevant state laws, consult an attorney.

                      WHAT WORKS ARE PROTECTED? 

Copyright protects "original works of authorship" that are fixed in a
tangible form of expression.  The fixation need not be directly
machine or device.  Copyrightable works include the following

  (1) literary works;
  (2) musical work, including any accompanying words;
  (3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music;
  (4) pantomimes and choreographic works;
  (5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;
  (6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
  (7) sound recordings; and
  (8) architectural works.

These categories should be viewed quite broadly: for example, computer
maps and architectural plans are registerable as "pictorial, graphic,
and sculptural works."


Several categories of material are generally not eligible for

-    Works that have -not- been fixed in a tangible form of expression.

-    Titles, names, short phrases and slogans; familiar symbols or
     designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering,
     or coloring; mere listing of ingredients or contents.

-    Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts,
     principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a
     description, explanation, or illustration.

*    Works consisting -entirely- of information that is common
     property and containing no original authorship.

                        HOW TO SECURE A COPYRIGHT 


The way in which copyright protection is secured under the present law is
frequently misunderstood.  No publication or registration or other
action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright (see
NOTE). There are, however, certain definite advantages to registration.

Copyright is secured -automatically- when the work is created, and a work
s "created" when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time.
"Copies" are material objects from which a work can be read or visual
books, manuscripts, sheet music, film, videotape, or microfilm.
"Phonorecords" are material objects embodying fixations of sounds
(excluding, by statutory definition, motion picture soundtracks), such as
audio tapes and phonograph disks.  Thus, for example, a song (the "work")
can be fixed in sheet music ("copies") or in phonograph disks
("phonorecords"), or both.

fixed on a particular date constitutes the created work as of that date.


t was under the Copyright Act of 1909.  However, publication remains
mportant to copyright owners.

The Copyright Act defines publication as follows:

"Publication" is the distribution of copies or phonorecords of a work
to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental,
lease, or lending.  The offering to distribute copies or phonorecords
to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public

 [NOTE:  Before 1978, statutory copyright was generally secured by the  
 act of publication with notice of copyright, assuming compliance with  
 all other relevant statutory conditions.  Works in the public domain   
 on January 1, 1978 (for example, works published without satisfying    
 all conditions for securing statutory copyright under the Copyright    
 Act of 1909) remain in the public domain under the current Act.        
 Statutory copyright could also be secured before 1978 by the act of    
 registration in the case of certain unpublished works and works        
 eligible for an interim copyright.  The current Act automatically      
 extends to full term (section 304 sets the term) copyright of all      
 works in which an interim copyright was subsisting or was capable of   
 being secured on December 31, 1977.                                    

A further discussion of the definition of "publication" can be found in
the legislative history of the Act.  The legislative reports define "to
the public" as distribution to persons under no explicit or implicit

-    When a work is published, it may bear a notice of copyright to
     identify the year of publication and the name of copyright owner
     and to inform the public that the work is protected by copyright.
     Works published before March 1, 1989, must bear the notice or
     risk loss of copyright protection.  (See discussion of "NOTICE OF
     COPYRIGHT" below)

-    Works that are published in the United States are subject to
     mandatory deposit with the Library of Congress.

-    Publication of a work can affect the limitations on the exclusive
     rights of the copyright owner that are set forth in sections 107
     through 119 of the law.

-    The year of publication may determine the duration of copyright
     protection for anonymous and and pseudonymous works (when the
     author's identity is not revealed in the records of the Copyright
     Office) and for works made for hire.

-    Deposit requirements for registration of published works differ
     from those for registration of unpublished works.

                        NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT 

For works first published on and after March 1, 1989, use of the
copyright notice is optional, through highly recommended.  Before March
any work first published before that date must bear a notice or risk
loss of copyright protection.

Use of the notice is recommended because it informs the public that the
not allow a defendant to claim "innocent infringement" -- that is, that
nnocent infringement claim may result in a reduction in damages that
the copyright owner would otherwise receive.)

The use of the copyright notice is the responsibility of the copyright
owner and does not require advance permission, or registration with,
the Copyright Office.


The notice for visually perceptible copies should contain all of the
following three elements:

     or the abbreviation "Copr."; and

     compilations or derivative works incorporating previously
     published material, the year date of the compilation or derivative
     work is sufficient; and

     abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally
     known alternative designation of the owner.

                  Examples:  Copyright 1991 John Doe
                             Copr. 1991 J. Doe
                             (c) 1991 LooneyPoems

The "C in a circle" notice is used only on "visually perceptible copies".
Certain kinds of works--for example, musical, dramatic, and literary
not used to indicate protection of the underlying musical, dramatic, or
literary work that is recorded.

                           POSITION OF NOTICE

The notice should be affixed to copies or phonorecords of the work in


The information in this section applies only to works first published
on and after January 1, 1978, and before March 1, 1989.

The publication of copies or phonorecords with no notice or with
ncorrect notice will not automatically invalidate the copyright or
affect ownership.  However, certain errors in the notice or publication
copyright protection or in a change in the length of the term of copyright
also be affected when someone innocently infringes a copyright by relying
on an authorized copy or phonorecord with no notice or


"Omission of notice" is publishing without a notice.  In addition, some
errors are considered the same as omission of notice.  These are:

-    A notice that does not contain the symbol  (the letter C in a
     circle), or the word "Copyright" or the abbreviation "Copr." or, if
     the work is a sound recording, the symbol 

(the letter P in a


-    A notice dated more than 1 year later than the date of first

-    A notice with a name or date that could reasonably be considered
     part of the notice;

-    A notice that lacks the statement required for works consisting
     preponderantly of U.S. Government material; and

-    A notice located so that it does not give reasonable notice of the
     claim of copyright.

The omission of notice does not affect the copyright protection and no
corrective steps are required if:

     of copies or phonorecords distributed to the public; or

     published copies or phonorecords bear the prescribed notice.

     form or before the omission occurred or it must be registered
     within 5 years after the date of publication without notice; and

     to all copies or phonorecords that are distributed to the public in
     the United States after the omission is discovered.

At that time all U.S. copyright protection will be lost and cannot be

                        DURATION OF COPYRIGHT 


For works that had already secured statutory copyright protection before
January 1, 1978, the 1976 law retains the old system for computing the

Duration Under The Previous Law

Under the law in effect before 1978, copyright was secured either on the
lasted for a first term of 28 years from the date it was secured. During
the last (28th) year of the first term, the copyright was eligible for
years.  If not renewed, the copyright expired at the end of the first
copyright date earlier than the actual date of publication is computed
from the date in the copyright notice.

Works Originally Created On And After January 1, 1978

For works that are created and fixed in a tangible medium of expression
for the first time on and after January 1, 1978, the Copyright Act of
copyright term and different methods for computing the duration of a
copyright.  Works of this sort fall into two categories:

     for works created after its effective date, adopts the basic "life-
     plus-fifty" system already in effect in most other countries. A
     work that is created (fixed in tangible form for the first time)
     after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment
     of its creation, and is given a term lasting for the author's life,
     plus an additional 50 years after the author's death. In the case
     of "a joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not work
     for hire", the term lasts for 50 years after the last surviving
     author's death.  For works made for hire, and for anonymous and
     pseudonymous works (unless the author's identity is revealed in
     Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright will be 75
     years from the first publication or 100 years from the creation,
     whichever is shorter.

     1978:  Works that had been created before the current law came into
     effect but had neither been published nor registered for copyright
     before January 1, 1978, automatically are given Federal copyright
     protection.  The duration of copyright in these works will
     generally be computed in the same way as for new works:  the life-
     plus-50 or 75/100-year terms will apply to them as well.  However,
     all works in this category are guaranteed at least 25 years of
     statutory protection.  The law specifies that in no case will
     copyright in a work of this sort expire before December 31, 2002,
     and if the work is published before that date the term will extend
     another 25 years, through the end of 2027.


This is a short listing of publications available from the Copyright

                          Application Forms

For Original Registration:

     Form TX:            for published and unpublished non-dramatic
                         literary works (books, pamphlets, computer
                         programs, manuscripts, poems, etc.)

     Form SE:            for serials, works issued or intended to be
                         issued in successive parts bearing numerical or
                         chronological designations and intended to be
                         continued indefinitely (periodicals, news-
                         papers, magazines, newsletters, annuals,
                         journals, etc.)

     Short Form/SE
     Form SE/Group:      Specialized SE forms for use when certain
                         requirements are met

     Form PA:            for published and unpublished works of the
                         performing arts (musical compositions, dramatic
                         works, pantomimes and choreographic works,
                         motion pictures and other audiovisual works)

     Form VA:            for published and unpublished works of the
                         visual arts (pictorial, graphic, and sculptural
                         works, including architectural works)

     Form SR:            for published and unpublished sound recordings.

For Renewal Registration

    Form RE:             for claims to renewal copyright in works
                         copyrighted under the law in effect through
                         December 31, 1977 (1909 Copyright Act)

For Corrections and Amplifications

    Form CA:             for supplementary registration to correct or
                         amplify information given in the Copyright
                         Office record of an earlier registration


        Circular 1    - Copyright Basics [for overall information]
        Circular 2    - Publications on Copyright
        Circular 3    - Copyright Notice
        Circular 15   - Renewal of Copyright
        Circular 15a -  Duration of Copyright
        Circular 21   - Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by
                        Educators and Librarians
        Circular 22   - How to Investigate the Copyright Status
                        of a Work
        Circular 50   - Copyright Registration for Musical Compositions
        Circular 56   - Copyright for Sound Recordings
        Circular 56a  - Copyright Registration of Musical Compositions
                        and Sound Recordings
        Circular 61   - Copyright Registration for Computer Programs
        Circular 62   - Copyright Registration for Serials on Form SE
        Circular 92   - Copyright Law of the United States of
        Circular R96  - Section 201.20 - Methods of Affixation
                        & Positions of the Copyright Notice on
                        Various Types of Works
        Circular R99  - Highlights of the Current Copyright Law

[Use only the officially printed application form; using photocopies or
other reproductions of the application form may delay your registration]

                      COPYRIGHT INFORMATION KITS 

Each Copyright Office information kid contains materials on the
announcements, and application forms.  When ordering, "indicate kit

        Computer Programs........................113
        Contributions/Collective Works...........104
        Copyright Searches.......................116
        Fair Use.................................102
        General Visual Arts......................115
        International Copyright..................100
        Mask Works...............................120
        Mini Copyright Information Kit...........118
        Motion Pictures..........................110
        Multi Media Kits.........................112
        Sound Recordings.........................121
        Useful Articles..........................103

    *The above circulars/forms are supplied by the Copyright Office free
     of charge.*

Request circulars and forms by writing:

        Copyright Office
        Publications Section, LM 455
        Library of Congress
        Washington, D.C.  20559

-Use this number whenever you want general copyright information or have
questions relating to copyright registration.  Recorded information is
available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and information specialists are
on duty from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday except holidays.

The FORMS HOTLINE number is (202) 707-9100.
-Use the Hotline number (also available 24 hours a day) to request
application forms for registration or informational circulars if you know
to order, call the Public Information Office number listed above.]


                       COPYRIGHT FEES INCREASE

The Copyright Fees and Technical Amendments Act of 1990 (Public Law
January 3, 1991.  This act marks the first adjustment of the fee

Copyright fees are adjusted at 5-year intervals, based on increases or

The fee for registration of an original, supplementary, or renewal
claim is nonrefundable, whether or not copyright registration is
ultimately made.