Some notions about copyright

Posted: 28 November, 2011 in Multimedia Reporting

Under the copyright law of 1976 protection is granted to “original works of authorship”, including literary, dramatic, artistic, musical, pantomimes, pictorial, graphic and sculptural, motion pictures, audiovisual, architectural and certain other intellectual work such as sound recordings. It starts from the time the work is created in a fixed form (speech that was recorded.

Works which are not in a tangible form of expression, titles, anmes, short phrases and slogans, ideas, systems, methods are not protected. Coca-Cola is not copyrighted, it’s trademarked, which is an entirely different thing.

Music is the most complicated

  • Performance rights
  • Reproduction rights
  • Clearance is required if you plan to use music for a purpose restricted under copyright law:
    • Making copies of the music
    • Creating a new work based on existing music
    • Distributing copies to the public by sale, rental, lease or lending
    • Performing the music publicly
  • Happy birthday-> Time-Warner makes over $1,000,000 per year since they bought the rights six years ago


    • Work for hire: including most things created for a government agency
    • Fair use


    • Photos: $1,500 per instance minimum
    • Music: $750 to $150,000 per infringement

How long does is last?

  • For works created after 1978, 70 past author’s death
  • For Work For Hire, 95 years from publication or 120 from creation, whichever is shorter
  • For works created before 1978, 95 years if renewed

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