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Viking Production Lab: Copyright Laws

A Place to Learn, Create, & Explore

What is Copyright?

 Copyright is a property right given to authors that allows them to control, protect, and exploit their artistic works.

Today it is very easy to receive a copyright for your work. All it needs is to be original, a little creative, and fixed in a tangible medium of expression. So, as soon as you create something, it is probably copyrighted. You don't need to do anything else; you don't need to file paperwork with the federal government, pay any fees, publish, or do anything other than create.

The statutory basis of copyright is in Title 17 of the United States Code. However, be aware that the interpretation of various provisions of copyright law may differ depending on the judicial circuit.

The United States Copyright Office offers a number of guides for a general audience, called "circulars," about copyright law.

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G.R. Little Library

Elizabeth City State University