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General Copyright Information and FAQ's

Protect your Copyrights Online in Minutes! Click Here To Register.
Home  How it works Who's joining?  Benefits  Testimonials  Membership Options  Copyright FAQ's
Country Specific Copyright FAQ's Some commonly asked questions about US Copyright Laws and registration.  Some commonly asked questions about Canadian Copyright Laws and registration.  Some commonly asked questions about UK Copyright Laws and registration.  Some commonly asked questions about International Copyright Laws and registration.
More questions? Contact us
or call toll free in North America 1-877-706-2766
SEAL™ Files instantly protect and redundantly archive your copyrights and intellectual property online for as little as $2 each! What is a copyright?
"Copyright" literally means the right to copy. Copyright is an internationally accepted form of intellectual property law. Copyrights protect the expression of ideas in literary, artistic and musical works.

Copyright laws protect:
Original works including choreography, literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works such as screenplays, poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software and architecture.

Copyright laws do not protect:
Facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although they may protect the way these intellectual properties are presented.

SEAL™ files allow you to securely date-stamp and redundantly archive your digital files online instantly! Real-time international copyright protection! Learn how

Following, for general reference, is a summary of the different classifications of copyrights as posted by the US Copyright Office on May 30, 2005:

US Copyright Classifications


Brief description

Visual Arts WorksFor copyright purposes, visual arts are original pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, which include two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art.
Sound RecordingsMake sure your work is a sound recording. Sound recordings are “works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, but not including the sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work.” Common examples include recordings of music, drama, or lectures.
Performing Arts Performing arts works are intended to be “performed” directly before an audience or indirectly “by means of any device or process.
Literary Works Literary works include nondramatic textual works with or without illustrations. They may be published or nonpublished. Computer programs and databases also are considered literary works. Plays, dramas, and screenplays are not in the literary works category (see Performing Arts page).
Serials and Periodicals For copyright purposes, serials are defined as works issued or intended to be issued in successive parts bearing numerical or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely.

Most countries offer copyright protection to foreign works under certain conditions, which have been established through international copyright agreements and conventions. There are two primary international copyright conventions, the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property (Berne Convention) and the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC).

In general, the copyrights of an author who is a resident of a country that conforms to the Berne Convention or UCC, or copyrights first published in a treaty country, or published in a treaty country within 30 days of first publication in a non-treaty country, may claim protection under them.
Do I need to include a copyright notice on copies of my work?
While there are no formal requirements in the Berne Convention, the use of a notice of copyright in the proper form and position is specified in the UCC. A UCC notice should be comprised of the symbol © (C in a circle) followed by the year of first publication and the name of the copyright owner. The proper form of your copyright notice is either:

Copyright 2005 Sam Iam. All rights reserved.
or
© 2005 Sam Iam. All rights reserved.

This copyright notice must be placed in such way as to give reasonable notice of the claim to copyright.
Even though the United States changed its law on March 1, 1989 to make the use of a copyright notice optional, there are still certain advantages for use of a copyright notice. One good reason to use a copyright notice would be to defeat a defense of “innocent infringement”. Another couple of great reasons are that using the notice can only help you, and it does not cost a penny!
Every nation provides different protection and interpretations of these international copyright conventions. Some countries offer little or no copyright protection to any foreign works. It is advisable to consult with an expert (familiar with the copyright laws of the region you are interested in) to obtain current information on the requirements and protection provided by foreign countries.
When is my work copyright protected?
By law, your work has copyrights the moment "pen hits paper". Once you have created and fixed your work in a tangible form so that it is either directly, or with the aid of a machine or device, perceptible, you own the copyright. This being true, it is also very important that you somehow register your copyright in order to provide proof of your ownership as soon after creation as possible.
Why should I register my copyrights?
Registering your copyrights will provide you with essential time-line evidence in the case that somebody decides to use your material with out permission, or if somebody accuses you of using their material. Read more
Topic specific Copyright and other Author's Rights Information
Sound Recordings  Literary Works  Visual Arts  Performing Arts  Serials & Periodicals  Copyright Infringement 
Performance Rights  Mechanical Rights  Synchronization Rights  Grand Rights  Digital Rights  Register Inventions 
Online Copyrights Registration using SEAL™ files... 
Important International Copyright Links:
Berne Convention  Universal Copyright Convention  Rome Convention  WIPO

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