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Copyright and Permissions

What can and cannot be copyrighted?

What can be copyrighted? What cannot be copyrighted?
  • Literary works
  • Motion pictures & other audiovisual works
  • Musical works
  • Dramatic works
  • Sound recordings
  • Pictorial, graphic, & sculptural works
  • Pantomimes, choreographic works, architectural works
  • Compilations of above works
  • Not in fixed tangible form of expression
  • Titles, names, short phrases, slogans
  • Familiar symbols/designs; mere variations in typographic ornamentation, lettering, coloring
  • Mere listings of ingredients or contents 
  • Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, devices
  • Consisting entirely of information that is common property with no original authorship
  • Works by U.S. government employees as part of their employment


How does one get copyright?

  • Copyright conferred upon creation & fixation of new works
  • Notice - not required – but recommended
    • © Year Author (e.g.© Bob Smith 2020)
    • Registration is not required, but it has advantages
      • Required for suit
      • Statutory Damages


Exclusive Rights Conferred by Copyright