WHAT COPYRIGHT IS - Steve Coker
Subject: WHAT COPYRIGHT IS
From: Steve Coker
Date: November 12, 1998

WHAT COPYRIGHT IS

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States
(title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of "original works of authorship" including
literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.
This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section
106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the
exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following: 

 *  To reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords; 

 *  To prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work; 

 *  To distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public
by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending; 

 *  To perform the copyrighted work publicly, in the case of literary, musical,
dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other
audiovisual works; 

 *  To display the copyrighted work publicly, in the case of literary, musical,
dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or
sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other
audiovisual work; and 

 *  In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a
digital audio transmission. 

In addition, certain authors of works of visual art have the rights of
attribution and integrity as described in section 106A of the 1976 Copyright
Act. For further information, request Circular 40, "Copyright Registration for
Works of the Visual Arts." 

It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright
code to the owner of copyright. These rights, however, are not unlimited in
scope. Sections 107 through 120 of the 1976 Copyright Act establish limitations
on these rights. In some cases, these limitations are specified exemptions from
copyright liability. One major limitation is the doctrine of "fair use," which
is given a statutory basis in section 107 of the 1976 Copyright Act. In other
instances, the limitation takes the form of a "compulsory license" under which
certain limited uses of copyrighted works are permitted upon payment of
specified royalties and compliance with statutory conditions. For further
information about the limitations of any of these rights, consult the copyright
code or write to the Copyright Office.

U.S. Copyright Office
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000

[email protected]
http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/circs/circ1.html
11/10/98

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