Schwartz & Ponterio, PLLC holds lawyers responsible for legal malpractice.

Which materials can and cannot receive copyright?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2021 | Copyright Law

As you establish your brand, you may want to copyright all of your materials. Before you begin filling out your copyright applications, you need to understand what kind of materials are eligible for copyright.

The U.S. Copyright Office says that you can copyright a majority of the intellectual property materials that you create. However, there are some exemptions that you should take note of.


One key aspect of your brand is usually your online presence. You can typically get a copyright for your website. This protects all the information that you publish on the site, such as blog posts, photographs and artwork. However, your domain name is usually not included in the copyright. Instead, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers maintains a register of domain names. You can protect the domain name by making sure that the registration is always current.

Original works

Copyright protects several different kinds of original works, including the following:

  • Songs
  • Novels
  • Poetry
  • Movies
  • Architecture
  • Software

There are some exceptions to this protection. You usually cannot get a copyright for your idea for your next work of fiction. The title of a work of fiction and the name of your band are typically exempt as well.

You may create a logo or slogan as part of your brand. Copyright generally does not extend to these materials. However, you may be able to get a trademark instead. Additionally, your brand may include a particular method or system that you utilize. You may not be able to get a copyright for these elements. If you call your method or system by a specific name, though, you may be able to copyright this name.

By understanding which materials can receive copyright, you can give your new endeavor a firm foundation as you get started.