In this course, we’ll introduce you to copyrights and copyright protection. This program is of low difficulty and no prior knowledge of intellectual property law is required.
A copyright is an intellectual property device that protects a creative work from duplication if it is fixed in a tangible medium. The course will look at the types of creations that can be protected by copyright law and discuss federal copyright law as set forth in Title 17 of the United States code.
The course covers the copyright requirements of originality, creativity and fixation in a tangible medium. We will distinguish between non-copyrightable “ideas” and copyrightable expressions. We spend much of our time looking at the important applications of these ideas to computer programs and software, which have often rendered traditional copyright rules anachronistic. Included in this discussion are the effects of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.
The course next turns to copyright duration, renewal and termination and how they are applied to copyrighted works based on the years that the works were created.
Finally, we will look at notice and registration, and compliance with registration and recording procedures with the United States Copyright Office. While these steps are not required for copyright protection to attach, we will discuss the important benefits that they bestow.
The goal of this program is to allow you to apply the copyright rules to determine whether work can be copyrighted, how copyright protection can be established and for how long the protection lasts. Enforcing copyrights and fair use and other defenses against copyright enforcement will be the subjects of another course.