Copyright Protection Basics

One of the kinds of intellectual property that business owners can possess and have a major financial interest in keeping protected are copyrights. Today, we will be discussing one of the basic aspects of copyright law: what falls under the protection of copyrights? Copyrights provide protection to original works of a creative nature. Such works include literary, artistic, musical and dramatic works.

There are many different types of things that can fall under the protection of federal copyright law. Some examples are:

  • Computer software.
  • Website content.
  • Architecture.
  • Certain types of logos.
  • Songs.
  • Movies.
  • Novels.
  • Poetry.

There are also a great number of things that copyrights do not extend to. Some examples of things that generally do not fall under the protection of federal copyright law include:

  • Titles.
  • Names.
  • Short phrases.
  • Slogans.
  • Ideas.
  • Methods of operation.
  • Systems.
  • Facts.

If a business owner has an original work that is protected by a copyright, and the copyright is infringed, there are a variety of different legal options they may have. What specific legal claims are available to them is very situation-dependent. For example, whether or not a party that is alleging that they have been the victim of copyright infringement can bring a copyright infringement lawsuit in a federal court is in part dependent on whether or not they registered the work in question with the United States Copyright Office.

Experienced attorneys can help business owners in the Federal Court for the Western District of Michigan or Federal Court for the Easter District of Michigan who suspect that a copyright they hold has been infringed investigate whether a copyright infringement occurred and what legal actions are available to protect the copyrighted work.

Source: United States Copyright Office, "What Does Copyright Protect?," Accessed Jan. 15, 2015

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