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Copyrights protect your creative work by giving you exclusive rights and prevent others from copying your creatives.

Copyright is the legal right granted to an author, composer, playwright, publisher, or distributor to the exclusive publication, production, sale, or distribution of a literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic work. Copyrights prevent others from copying your creative works.

While conventional wisdom suggests that copyright protection exists once a work is reduced to writing (or any other tangible medium, as in the case of software code written to disk), a copyright must be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office before a party may sue in federal court for its infringement. A bonus is granted to those that register their copyrights immediately, or within three months of publication, in the form of statutory damages and attorneys fees for any infringement. The copyright symbol © can and should be used to identify original and derivative works, whether or not the work is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Copyright protection is available for the following types of works:

  • Literary works. Novels, nonfiction prose, poetry, newspaper articles and newspapers, magazine articles and magazines, computer software, software manuals, training manuals, manuals, catalogs, brochures, ads (text), and compilations such as business directories.
  • Musical works. Songs, advertising jingles, and instrumentals.
  • Dramatic works. Plays, operas, and skits.
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works. Ballets, modern dance, jazz dance, and mime works.
  • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works. Photographs, posters, maps, paintings, drawings, graphic art, display ads, cartoon strips and cartoon characters, stuffed animals, statues, paintings, and works of fine art.
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works. Movies, documentaries, travelogues, training films and videos, television shows, television ads, and interactive multimedia works.
  • Sound recordings. Recordings of music, sounds, or words.
  • Architectural works. Buildings, architectural plans or drawings.

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