Copyright Law

This site is intended to provide readers with the basics of copyright law. It does not contain all information about copyright law, but will hopefully help you understand how this law works. So let's begin...

"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 works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works(U.S. Copyright Office)."

What this basically means is that anything you create (i.e. writings, music, sculptures, art, web pages etc.)and put into a tangible form (like a book, web site, cd,art canvas, dvd, etc.) is protected by law. Anyone who violates one of the "5 Copyright Commandments", has committed illegal activity and is subject to law suits, fines, and even time in prison.

Copyright law does not require that you register or provide notice of copyright, however, a work must be registered in order for the original author to file a law suit. (See the "How to" page for more information about registering a work)

Now let's find out about the

5 Commandments of Copyright Law