What kind of Works can I Protect with a Copyright?

What kind of Works can I Protect with a Copyright?Copyrights are used to protect a variety of works. By obtaining a copyright, the individual who created the literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic piece is granted exclusive rights to it. This type of protection is afforded to both published and unpublished works.

Copyrights apply to works that are more than just a person’s idea. To be copyrightable, the work must be a fixed “tangible form of expression.” Thus, it must be written down or otherwise recorded. The protection provided by a copyright is afforded to only to the expression of the idea or plan.

The work being copyrighted must also be original. It cannot be a copy of another party’s work and it must contain creativity on the part of the author. For example, ingredients may not by copyrightable, but an original recipe might be.

Below are a few categories of copyrightable works:

  • literary works
  • audiovisual works, including motion pictures and films
  • music, including accompanying lyrics
  • dramatic works, which can include accompanying music
  • choreography
  • pictorial, graphic or sculptural works
  • sound recordings
  • architectural plans, drawings and actual structures

The above categories can be broadly applied. For instance, if you create a dance, it can be registered as both choreography (if it is written down) and as audiovisual work (if filmed).

If you have a copyrightable piece of work and you need assistance ensuring it is protected, we can help. Obtaining the right advice from the start can significantly increase the likelihood of your business being a success. Contact The Swenson Law Firm for help.

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