Copyright is a set of rights held exclusively by the owner of “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and other intellectual works. In the United States, the laws related to copyright are in Title 17 of the US Code. Video, still images and sound effects are also included in the Copyright Act.
Copyright owners have the exclusive right to:
- Reproduce the work in copies
- Make derivative works based on the original
- Perform or display the work publicly
- Distribute copies or transfer ownership
- Transmit the work by digital audio transmission
Beginning in 1978, works created are automatically protected under the UW copyright law for a term that extends for the author’s life plus 70 years. Works created before that date are still covered by the copyright statute from the date they were originally published.
As UW communicators, we need to know the basics of copyright and fair use to ensure that our messages are not infringing.
U.S. Copyright Registry