- What is a Copyright? A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been "fixed in a tangible medium of expression" - which basically means that the work must be recorded or written down somewhere.
- How long does Copyright protection last? Copyright duration is limited, but lasts much longer than patent protection. Determining the length of a copyright depends on many factors, but the general scenarios for recently "fixed" works are as follows:
(1) If the work had one author, copyright protection lasts 70 years past the death of the author.
(2) If the work had two or more authors, copyright protection lasts 70 years past the death of the last surviving author.
(3) If the author is unknown, or if the work was made for hire, copyright protection lasts 95 years from first publication (when a "fixed" work is made available to the public) or 120 years from creation (whichever is shorter).
- What good does a Copyright registration do? Copyright registration must occur prior to an infringement in order to give the maximum benefit. The main reason to get a copyright registration is that it grants access to special statutory damage awards.