How long is a copyright good for in the United States?
- 70 Years. Works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years.
What does a copyright protect?
Common things you can protect
- Written works (books, articles, blogs, screenplays)
- Musical and Dramatic works (songs, plays, and choreography)
- Artistic works (photographs, paintings, and sculptures)
- Software (computer systems, games, and applications)
Things you CAN NOT protect
- A Names, Titles, Short Phrases, or Expressions (See trademark)
- A Company Logo (See trademark)
- A Phrase (See trademark)
- An Idea, Method, or System (Patent)
- Commonly Known Information
- Choreographic Works
Why should you register your copyright?
- Establishes a public record of your original work
- Allows you to take action against use without your permission
- Recover statutory damages and attorney fees if successful in court
To register a mark, submit a completed application form, and a nonreturnable copy or copies of the work to be registered…along with submission of the appropriate filing fee.
Can I do it myself?
Yes, you can try. You own the copyright to your work as soon as you create it. It does not have to be published to be protected.
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