As someone who works with creative or unique content, you have likely run into copyright questions and potential issues before. For example, you may wonder if you could have an idea copyrighted. You may also wonder if content you use in your works has a copyright.
Before you start making and posting too much content, it would benefit you to understand copyright law in the country. This can save you a lot of grief later down the road.
Categories of copyright
Purdue University gives you any information you need about copyright law in the United States. First, what is copyright? It is a federal law that allows you to control any use of your work. This control lasts for a limited amount of time. The work in question must be original to you. It also needs to exist in “a tangible medium of expression”.
There are eight categories that potential copyright works fall under. This includes:
- Sound recordings
- Musical, literary and dramatic works
- Sculptural, graphic and pictorial works
- Computer programs
- Architectural works
- Choreographic and pantomimes
- Motion picture (and AV) works
- Compilations of other works or derivative works
Exclusive rights as a copyright holder
Once you gain copyright for your work, it offers protection for a limited time. It also helps promote learning and creativity by disallowing others to steal and profit directly from your work.
You also have six exclusive rights as the holder of copyright for a work. This includes the right to reproduce the work, to distribute it and to create derivatives. It also gives you the ability to publicly perform the work, display it or use sound recordings in public.