What is a Copyright?

Copyrights are part of the intellectual property (IP) bundle of rights. Other forms of IP that are part of the bundle ar trademarks, patents, rights of publicity, and trade sectrest. A copyright is a legal form of protection for “original” works of art or authorship that have been reduced to a tangible format. Generally, “original” means the work wasn’t copied from another source. Tangible generally means it is something you can touch or perceive.

Content Must be Original and Tangible

What does it mean to be Original?

Original works of art or authorship are independently created by human beings, not machines or animals. Plus, they must have a minimal degree of creativity. If something is Independently created it is created by you and not someone else. You are the creator and not someone else. not copyright any part of someone else’s work. To be creative, content must have a “spark” and “modicum” of creativity.

What does it mean to be Tangible?

A work is tangible when it is captured (either by or under the authority of an author) in a sufficiently permanent medium such that the work can be perceived, reproduced, or communicated for more than a short time. For example, a work is fixed when you write it down or record it.

What is Protected?

In short, copyright protects content. Here is a checklist Some items that can be protected as long as they are original are

  • Books
  • eBooks
  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Poems
  • Paintings
  • Sound recordings
  • Musical compositions
  • Scripts
  • Screenplays
  • Television treatments / Show Bibles
  • Photographs
  • Illustrations
  • Website content
  • Software
  • Choreographed material
  • Pantomimes
  • Characters
  • Sculpture
  • Jewelry
  • Games
  • Architecture
  • Articles
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Marketing materials
  • Newsletters
  • DVDs
  • Online videos, whether or not downloadable
  • CDs
  • Online audios, whether or not downloadable
  • Synchronized content
  • Social media templates
  • Workbooks, Manuals

Not Everything Can be Protected by Copyright

Copyright protects the expression, which is why ideas are never protected by copyright. Other things not protected are procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, or discoveries.Items that can never be protected by copyright are names, phrases, logos, ideas (content not in a tangible format), material that is not original, procedures, processes, systems, methods of operation, concepts, principles, and discoveries.

Francine D. Ward
Attorney-At-Law, Author, Speaker