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#copyright #fairuse

What Can Be Copyrighted?

"In copyright law, there are a lot of different types of works, including paintings, photographs, illustrations, musical compositions, sound recordings, computer programs, books, poems, blog posts, movies, architectural works, plays, and so much more!" - What is Copyright? (

Works must be:
  • FIXED - Fixed in a tangible medium, like a piece of paper or video recording: an idea alone cannot be copyrighted.

  • ORIGINAL - It is not necessary for a work to be completely original. Existing works may be combined, adapted, or transformed in new ways that make them eligible for copyright protection.

  • MINIMALLY CREATIVE - Only a slight degree of creativity is all that is required to be eligible for protection.

What Cannot Be Copyrighted?

Forms, Facts, Names, Slogans, Words, Ideas, plus certain types of works:

  • Works in the public domain 
  • Government publications, including judicial opinions; public ordinances; administrative rulings; data and statistics
  • Works created by federal government employees as part of their official responsibilities
  • Works for which copyright wasn't obtained or for which copyright has expired

Rights of Copyright Holders

  1. Reproduction - the right to make copies of the work
  2. Distribution - the right to sell or otherwise distribute copies of the work
  3. Adaptation - the right to prepare new, derivative, works based on the protected work
  4. Performance and display - the right to perform or display the work (such as a stage play, movie, or painting) in public

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