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Understanding copyright law and infringement

The Copyright Act was first established in 1976 and is a federal law. Therefore, individual states cannot extend or change the rights that were set out in the Copyright Act of 1976.

When you are creating any type of business, it is very important that you understand the law when it comes to copyrights, so that you know how to avoid infringing upon them.

What are the general types of materials that can be protected by copyright?

When something is created as an original, such as an artwork or a novel, they are protected by the Copyright Act. This means that when a book is published, the publisher can take action against anyone that is trying to sell or exploit the original work, when they have not been authorized to do so.

In addition to original pieces of work, combined content can also be protected under copyright law. An example of this might be an advertisement with a slogan, a video and some music attached to it. When the producer owns the rights to all of these elements, they become protected as a piece of multimedia work.

What types of works are protected by copyright?

Anything that can be considered to be created, or as the Copyright Act refers to it, all "works of authorship", are protected by copyright. This includes architectural works and plans, sound and music creations, choreography, logos, novels and articles, music and slogans.

If you are concerned that you may have infringed upon a copyright, it is important to take action as soon as possible in order to prevent severe consequences.

Source: FindLaw, "Copyright law," accessed March 30, 2018

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