Kaufman & Forman, P.C.
Call to arrange a consultation
678-957-7769 | 770-390-9200
Contact Us
practice areas

What can be copyrighted and what can't?

Intellectual property covers a wide range of topics, and it provides legal protections to companies, individuals, inventors and other creatives. A copyright is a specific type of intellectual property, one that governs over original works of authorship. These original works must be in a tangible form, though it does not matter if the works were ever published or not.

But what constitutes an "original work of authorship?" That phrase seems to indicate that the work needs to be written down somewhere. While having something written down is a crucial part of a copyright, it isn't necessarily a requirement. The work does, however, need to be recorded in some way. So, for example, if you are looking to copyright a piece of choreography or a dance routine, you would need to record it.

In addition to choreographed work, written works such as books, musical scores, dramatic works such as plays, pictures and sculptures, architectural renderings and even audio files can be copyrighted. Having a copyright prevents others from profiting off of your original work.

Now, there are things that can't be copyrighted. As examples:

  • An improvised speech or impromptu performance can't be copyrighted.
  • Names, familiar logos and symbols can't be copyrighted, nor can variations on typography.
  • Ideas, processes, and concepts can't be copyrighted.

There are other examples as well, but the point is that there are many wrinkles to copyright law and it is important for those seeking a copyright -- or trying to uphold a copyright -- to know the law.

Source: FindLaw, "What May be Covered by Copyrights?," Accessed Feb. 6, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Kaufman & Forman, P.C. Now

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

get Legal Help Now

Kaufman & Forman, P.C.
8215 Roswell Road, Building 800
Atlanta, GA 30350

Toll Free: 800-461-5864
Phone: 678-957-7769
Fax: 770-395-6720
Atlanta Law Office Map

Review Us

Robert Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the May issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.Alex Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the December issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.