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Encyclopedia > United States Copyright Law

United States copyright law governs the legally enforceable rights of creative and artistic works in the United States.


Copyright law in the United States is part of Federal law, and is authorized by the U.S. Constitution. The power to enact copyright law is granted in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, also known as the Copyright Clause, which states: Federal law is the body of law created by the federal government of a nation. ... The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ... Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, known as the Copyright Clause empowers the United States Congress: To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. ...

The Congress shall have Power [. . .] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

This clause forms the basis for U.S. copyright law ("Science", "Authors", "Writings") and patent law ("useful Arts", "Inventors", "Discoveries"), and includes the limited terms (or durations) allowed for copyrights and patents ("limited Times"), as well as the items they may protect ("exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries"). A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a government to an inventor or applicant for a limited amount of time (normally maximum 20 years from the filing date, depending on extension). ...


In the U.S., copyright is administered by the United States Copyright Office, a part of the Library of Congress. More information on U.S. copyright law can be retrieved from the the Copyright Office's web site. The United States Copyright Office, a part of the Library of Congress, is the official U.S. government body that maintains records of copyright registration in the United States. ... The Great Hall interior. ...

Contents

History

The U.S. Congress first exercised its power to enact copyright legislation with the Copyright Act of 1790. The Act secured an author the exclusive right to publish and vend "maps, charts and books" for a term of 14 years, with the right of renewal for one additional 14 year term if the author was still alive. The act did not regulate other kinds of writings, such as musical compositions or newspapers and specifically noted that it did not prohibit copying the works of foreign authors. The vast majority of writings were never registered — between 1790 and 1799, of 13,000 titles published in the United States, only 556 were registered. The Copyright Act of 1790 was the first Federal copyright act to be instituted in the United States, though most of the states had passed legislation protecting literary rights in the years immediately following the Revolution. ...


Copyright law has been modified many times since to encompass new technologies such as music recording, to extend the duration of protection, and to make other changes. U.S. courts have interpreted this clause of the Constitution to say that the ultimate purpose of copyrights is to encourage the production of creative works for the public benefit, and that therefore the interests of the public are primary over the interests of the author when the two conflict. These rulings have since been formalized into fair use laws and decisions. Certain attempts by copyright owners to restrict uses beyond the rights provided for by copyright law may also subject them to the copyright misuse doctrine, preventing enforcement against infringers. Fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as use for scholarship or review. ... Copyright misuse is an equitable defense against copyright infringement in the United States based on the unreasonable conduct of the copyright owner. ...


Key laws regulating U.S. copyrights include: Like John says copyright law in the UK is u make something and its copyrighted but in america u must make a patent haaaa ...

    Statutory provisions relating to copyright currently in effect are codified in Title 17 of the United States Code. Key international agreements affecting U.S. copyright law include: The Copyright Act of 1790 was the first Federal copyright act to be instituted in the United States, though most of the states had passed legislation protecting literary rights in the years immediately following the Revolution. ... The Copyright Act of 1909 was a landmark statute in United States statutory copyright law. ... The Copyright Act of 1976 is a landmark statute in United States copyright legislation and remains the primary basis of copyright law in the United States. ... The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 extended copyright terms in the United States by 20 years. ... The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law which criminalizes production and dissemination of technology that can circumvent measures taken to protect copyright, not merely infringement of copyright itself, and heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. ... A controversial law passed in the United States of America that attempts to mitigate copyright violation by targetting anyone who has even a single copy of an unreleased film, software program or music file in a shared folder, regardless of whether that file is downloaded or not. ... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ...

      The United States became a Berne Convention signatory in 1988, and the treaty entered into force with respect to the U.S. on March 1, 1989. The U.S. is also a party to TRIPS, which itself requires compliance with Berne provisions, and is enforceable under the WTO dispute resolution process. To meet the treaty requirements, protections were extended to architecture (where previously only building plans were protected from copying, not buildings, though currently the law makes exception for reproduction of buildings in photographs or paintings if they are ordinarily visible from a public place), and certain moral rights of visual artists. The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, sometimes called the Berne Union or Berne Convention, adopted at Berne in 1986, first established the recognition of copyrights between sovereign nations. ... The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) is an international treaty which sets down minimum standards for most forms of intellectual property regulation within all member countries of the WTO. Specifically, TRIPs deals with copyright and related rights (ie. ... The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, sometimes called the Berne Union or Berne Convention, adopted at Berne in 1986, first established the recognition of copyrights between sovereign nations. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... March 1 is the 60th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (61st in leap years). ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) is an international agreement on the subject of intellectual property. It covers copyright, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, industrial designs, geographical indicia and integrated circuit layouts. ... For other uses of the initials WTO, see WTO (disambiguation). ... Moral rights are rights of creators of copyrighted works generally recognized in civil law jurisdictions and first recognized in France and Germany, before they were included in the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works in 1928. ...

      No state laws, no state courts

      Historically, copyright protection was provided by a dual system under both federal and state laws. Federal law provided what was commonly called "statutory copyright" and the laws of each state would provide what was called "common-law copyright," even though many states have statutes governing copyright as well.


      Roughly speaking, the old "statutory copyright" protected works that were registered and the old "common-law copyright" protected works that were not.


      In 1976, however, Congress abolished all state copyright laws by declaring a complete federal preemption of state laws. The federal preemption provision is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 301(a), which states, in relevant parts: In the legal system of the United States, preemption generally refers to the displacing effect that federal law will have on a conflicting or inconsistent state law. ... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ...

      On and after January 1, 1978, all legal or equitable rights that are equivalent to any of the exclusive rights within the general scope of copyright ... in works of authorship that ... come within the subject matter of copyright ... are governed exclusively by this title. Thereafter, no person is entitled to any such right or equivalent right in any such work under the common law or statutes of any State.

      The preemption is complete in all aspects of copyright protection. It covers protection: A work that falls generally within the subject matter of copyright (such as, a writing) must either qualify to be protected under federal law, or it cannot be protected at all. State law cannot provide protection for a work that federal law does not protect.[1] It covers enforcement: A person accused of copyright infringement cannot be prosecuted in state courts.[2] As a result, the federal courts have exclusive subject-matter jurisdiction over copyright cases. Subject matter jurisdiction is a legal term used in civil procedure to indicate that a case must be entered in the proper court of law based on the nature of the claim. ...


      It should be noted that the preemption clause only applies to works that are covered by the Copyright Act. Works that have "not been fixed in any tangible medium of expression are not covered."[3] "Examples would include choreography that has never been filmed or notated, an extemporaneous speech, original works of authorship communicated solely through conversations or live broadcasts, a dramatic sketch or musical composition improvised or developed from memory and without being recorded or written down."[4] There are several Acts known as the Copyright Act: Copyright Act of Canada United States Copyright Act International Copyright Act This is a disambiguation page, a list of pages that otherwise might share the same title. ...


      Duration of copyright

      Copyrights are currently slated to last for seventy years after the death of an author, or seventy-five to ninety-five years in the case of works of corporate authorship and works first published before January 1, 1978. All works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain; however, works created before 1978 but not published until recently may be protected until 2047. Sec. 303. Some material from as recently as 1963 has entered the public domain but some as old as 1923 remains copyrighted if renewals were filed. Previously, a copyright renewal had to be filed in the work's 28th year with the Library of Congress Copyright Office for its term of protection to be extended. The need for renewal was eliminated in 1992, but works that had already entered the public domain by non-renewal did not regain copyright protection. Therefore, works published before 1964 that were not renewed are public domain. No additional material is currently set to enter the public domain until at least 2019 due to changes in the applicable laws. January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... The Great Hall interior. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ...


      The exclusive rights protected by copyright

      There are five basic rights protected by copyright, and they are sometimes called the five "pillars" of copyright. The owner of copyright has the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

      • To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
      • To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
      • To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
      • To publicly perform the work, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
      • To publicly display the work, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work.

        A violation of any of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder is said to be a copyright infringement. Copyrights may be sold, given, or licensed. For example, an author might license the right to publish a translation of a book (considered a derivative work) to a foreign publisher, charging a fee for the license. However, an author, after transferring a copyright, can terminate the transfer under certain circumstances. This right to terminate the transfer is absolute and cannot be contracted away. Copyright infringement is the unauthorized use of copyright material in a manner that violates one of the original copyright owners exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or Media:Example. ...

        Scope

        The United States copyright law protects "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.


        An important limitation on the scope of copyright protection is the idea/expression dychotomy: While copyright law protects the expression of an idea, it does not protect the idea itself.


        Copyright protects the expression, not the idea

        The distinction between "idea" and "expression" is a fundamental part of U.S. law, but it is not always clear. From the 1976 Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. § 102): The Copyright Act of 1976 is a landmark statute in United States copyright legislation and remains the primary basis of copyright law in the United States. ... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ...

        In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

        A paper describing a political theory, for example, is copyrightable; it may not be reproduced by anyone else without the author's permission. But the theory itself (which is an idea rather than a specific expression) is not copyrightable. Another author is free to describe the same theory in his or her own words without violating copyright law. Courts disagree on how much of the story and characters of a copyrighted novel or film should be considered copyrightable expression.


        Compilations and the sweat of the brow doctrine

        Facts are considered synonymous to "ideas" or "discoveries" under this law and are not copyrightable. By extension, a compilation of uncopyrightable facts is also uncopyrightable. However, section § 103 of the Copyright Act allows for the protection of "compilations," provided there is an "creative" or "original" act involved in such a compilation, such as in the selection (deciding which things to include or exclude), and arrangement (how they are shown and in what order). The protection is limited only to the selection and arrangement, not to the facts themselves, which may be freely copied.


        The Supreme Court decision in Feist v. Rural further made clear the requirements that a compilation be original in its composition, in denying protection to telephone "white pages". The Feist court rejected what was known as the "sweat of the brow" doctrine, in ruling that no matter how much work was necessary to create a compilation, a non-selective collection of facts ordered in a non-creative way is not subject to copyright protection. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the judicial branch of the United States federal government. ... Feist Publications, Inc. ...


        Authorship

        Sometimes the identification of a work's "author" is unclear, and there are many court rulings applying to those situations as well. For example, by § 201, work done "for hire", that is, specifically at the direction of an employer who pays for the work, is, by default, the property of the employer. In other words, if a company hires a writer to write something specific, the company, not the writer, is considered the "author" of that work and owns the copyrights. Any other work done by that writer on his own without compensation and without using company resources usually is still owned by the writer (though employers often try to claim ownership of such work).


        Works by the federal government

        For more details on this topic, see Work of the United States Government.

        17 U.S.C. § 105, withholds copyright from all publications produced by the United States Government, and its agents or employees while in their employment. All such work is therefore in the public domain in some sense. The specific language is as follows: A work of the United States Government is, as defined by United States copyright law, a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that persons official duties. ... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ...

        Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.

        The intent of the section is to place in the public domain all work of the United States Government, which is defined in 17 U.S.C. § 101 as work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person's official duties. Contractors are not employees. The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ...


        However, no copyright does not equal full access. Nothing in the law prohibits the United States government from limiting commercial access to its (uncopyrighted) work. This may seem obvious to some: The government produces a lot of top secret materials that are not protected by copyright, but have a lot of other access restrictions. But even in case of non-secret materials there are specific prohibitions against automatic access to work otherwise covered under 17 U.S.C. § 105 for commercial purposes.


        Federal and state laws are not copyrighted

        Federal statutes are in the public domain and no copyright attaches to them. The same is true of court decisions. It is not difficult to see the motivations behind this: The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

        The citizens are the authors of the law, and therefore its owners, regardless of who actually drafts the provisions, because the law derives its authority from the consent of the public, expressed through the democratic process. (State of Georgia v Harrison Co, 548 F Supp 110, 114 (ND Ga 1982))
        Edicts of government, such as judicial opinions, administrative rulings, legislative enactments, public ordinances, and similar official legal documents are not copyrightable for reasons of public policy. This applies to such works whether they are Federal, State, or local as well as to those of foreign governments. (The Compendium of Copyright Office Practices (Compendium II) section 206.01[1] Paragraph 3.6 at 14 February 2006)

        In the United States the exclusion of legislation from the scope of copyright laws dates to 1834, when the Supreme Court interpreted the first federal copyright laws and held that “no reporter has or can have any copyright in the written opinions delivered by this Court“. In the same case it was argued – and accepted by the Court – that “it would be absurd, for a legislature to claim the copyright; and no one else can do it, for they are the authors, and cause them to be published without copyright … Statutes were never copyrighted.” Further, “it is the bounden duty of government to promulgate its statutes in print”. “[A]ll countries ... subject to the sovereignty of the laws” hold the promulgation of the laws, from whatever source, “as essential as their existence.” “If either statutes or decisions could be made private property, it would be in the power of an individual to shut out the light by which we guide our actions.” (Wheaton v. Peters, 33 US (8 Pet) 591, 668 (1834)) Wheaton v. ...


        That the public interest is the primary determinant is clear from Banks v Manchester (128 US 244, 9 S Ct 36 (1888)). In this the United States Supreme Court denied a copyright to a court reporter in opinions of the Ohio Supreme Court, on the grounds that “There has always been a judicial consensus, from the time of the decision in the case of Wheaton v. Peters, that no copyright could, under the statutes passed by Congress, be secured in the products of the labour done by judicial officers in the discharge of their judicial duties. The whole work done by the judges constitutes the authentic exposition and interpretation of the law, which, binding every citizen, is free for publication to all, whether it is a declaration of unwritten law, or an interpretation of a constitution or statute.” The Ohio Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S. state of Ohio, with final authority over interpretations of Ohio law and the Ohio Constitution. ... Seal of the U.S. Congress. ...


        The law, as thus (widely) defined, is in the public domain, and therefore not amenable to copyright. In Howell v Miller, (91 F 129 (1898)) Justice Harlan denied an injunction sought for the compiler of Michigan statutes, holding that “no one can obtain the exclusive right to publish the laws of the state in a book prepared by him.” The question of formal ownership of the text of laws and decisions is perhaps secondary to the question of the dissemination of the law. Official language(s) None (English, de-facto) Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  Ranked 11th  - Total 97,990 sq mi (253,793 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 491 miles (790 km)  - % water 41. ... A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ...


        Registration of copyright

        Registration of copyright refers to the act of registering the work with the United States Copyright Office, which is an office of the Library of Congress. As the United States has joined the Berne Convention, registration is no longer necessary to provide copyright protection. However, registration is still necessary to obtain statutory damages in case of infringement. The Great Hall interior. ... Statutory damages are pre-established damages for cases where calculating a correct sum is deemed difficult. ...


        Deposit requirement

        The United States Copyright Office requires that applicants for registration must deposit with that office copies of the work for which protection is sought. This requirement serves two purposes. First, if an action arises from the infringement of the work, the owner may prove that the material that is infringed is exactly the same material for which the owner has secured a registration. Second, this requirement assists the Library of Congress in building its collection of works.


        Relief available for infringement

        A person whose copyright has been violated (infringed upon) may pursue legal relief. These remedies, however, require the copyright holder to actively enforce his or her rights. There is no “copyright police” that enforces copyright without the right holder complaining. For example, the FBI investigates cases of criminal infringement (mostly audio and video products), but even then, it does not do so on its own, only on cases where a complaint is received from the copyright holder. The FBI has its own guidelines on which cases to investigate. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a Federal police force which is the principal investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ...


        Civil remedies

        Barring investigation by law enforcement, therefore, a copyright holder must file a lawsuit in federal court to pursue his or her remedies. These remedies fall into two general categories: Injunctions and damages. A lawsuit is a civil action brought before a court in which the party commencing the action, the plaintiff, seeks a legal remedy. ... The United States federal courts are the system of courts organized under the Constitution and laws of the federal government of the United States. ... An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that either prohibits or compels (restrains or enjoins) a party from continuing a particular activity. ... In law, damages refers to the money paid or awarded to a claimant (as it is known in the UK) or plaintiff (in the US) following their successful claim in a civil action. ...


        Injunctions

        Both temporary and permanent injunctions are available to prevent or restrain infringement of a copyright.[5] Where the infringer is the government, however, injunctions are not available and the copyright holder can only seek monetary damages.[5] A form of injunction that is available in copyright cases is a seizure order. At any time during the lawsuit, the court may order the impoundment of any and all copies of the infringing products. The seizure order may include materials used to produce such copies, such as master tapes, film negatives, printing plates, etc. Items that are impounded during the course of the lawsuit can, if the plaintiff wins, be ordered destroyed as part of the final decree.


        Monetary damages

        A copyright holder can also seek monetary damages. Injunctions and damages are not mutually exclusive. One can have injunctions and no damages, or damages and no injunctions, or both injunctions and damages. There are two types of damages: actual damages and profits, or statutory damages. [6]. During the course of the lawsuit, the copyright holder can ask the court for both, in the alternative. However, at the end of the case, they are mutually exclusive: Only one can be awarded and not the other.[7] Statutory damages are pre-established damages for cases where calculating a correct sum is deemed difficult. ...


        Actual damages are the actual losses suffered by the copyright holder as a result of the infringement. Profits are the profits gained by the wrongdoer as a result of the infringement. In theory, the copyright holder can recover both his or her own actual damages, and also the wrongdoer’s profits. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


        Statutory damages are available as an alternative to actual damages and profits.[7] This is sometimes preferrable if actual damages and profits are either too small, or too difficult to prove, or both. There are, however, situations where statutory damages are not available. 17 U.S.C. § 412 provides: Statutory damages for copyright infringement are available under some countries copyright laws. ... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ...

        • Statutory damages are not available if the work is unpublished and the infringement began before the effective date of its registration.
        • Statutory damages are not available if the work is published but the infringement commenced after the first publication and before the effective date of its registration, unless registration is made within three months after the first publication.

          Statutory damages are calculated per work infringed.[7] Statutory damages range from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands: In some forms of copyright laws, only a copyright registration makes a creative work eligible for protection. ...

          • Statutory damages range from $750 per work to $150,000 per work
          • In case of “innocent infringement”, the range is $200 to $150,000 per work. "Innocent" is a technical term. In particular, if the work carries a copyright notice, the infringer cannot claim innocence. [8]
          • In case of “willful infringement” (again, “willful” is a technical term), the range is $750 to $300,000 per work.

            Damages in copyright cases can be very high. In Lowry’s Reports, Inc. v. Legg Mason Inc.[9], a 2003 lawsuit between a publisher of stock analysis newsletters against a company that buys one copy of the newsletters and makes multiple copies for use in-house, the jury awarded damages - actual damages for some newsletters and statutory damages for other newsletters - totalling $20 million.

            Attorney’s fees

            The court may (but is not required to) award to the “prevailing party” a reasonable attorney’s fees. [10]. This applies to both the winning plaintiff (right holder) and the winning defendant (accused infringer).[11] However, attorney’s fees award is not available against the government. Like statutory damages, attorney’s fees are not available if the work infringed is not registered at the time of infringement.


            Criminal penalties

            Criminal penalties for copyright infringement include:

            • A fine of not more than $500,000 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both, for the first offense.
            • A fine of not more than $1 million and imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, for repeated offenses.

              Nonprofit libraries, archives, education institutions and public broadcasting entities are exempt from criminal prosecution. A fine is money paid as a financial punishment for the commission of minor crimes or as the settlement of a claim. ... Dorchester Penitentiary in New Brunswick, Canada is an institution that is part of the Correctional Service of Canada. ... In law, an offense (or offence) is a violation of the penal law. ... A nonprofit organization (abbreviated NPO, or non-profit or not-for-profit) is an organization whose primary objective is to support some issue or matter of private interest or public concern for non-commercial purposes. ... Students in Rome, Italy. ... Public broadcasting, also known as public service broadcasting or PSB (though this term has a specific different meaning in the United Kingdom - see public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom) is the dominant form of broadcasting around the world, where radio, television, and potentially other electronic media outlets receive funding...

              Procedure to enforce

              Enforcement procedure usually follows this path: // Under United States copyright law [1] the owner of a copyright is entitled to relief from unauthorized copying, displaying, distribution or performance of the copyrighted work, all collectively known as copyright infringement. ...

              • Send a cease-and-desist letter
              • File lawsuit
              • Seek a preliminary injunction
              • Proceed through trial to arrive at a final decree on permanent injunction and damages

                Defenses and exceptions

                US copyright law includes numerous defenses, exceptions, and limitations. These protect both the boundary with the free expression guarantees of the First Amendment and establish carve-outs to address specific situations.


                Some of the most important include:

                • Subject matter limitations and the "idea/expression dichotomy". Copyright applies only to certain subject matter, codified within 17 USC 102. Works that are not "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression" are not subject to copyright. 17 USC 102(b) codifies that copyright protection does not extend to ideas, procedures, processes, systems, etc. Facts may not be copyrighted. Feist.
                • The "fair use" exception is codified at 17 USC 107, and states that "the fair use of a copyrighted work ... is not an infringement of copyright."
                • The first sale doctrine is codified at 17 USC 109, and limits the rights of copyright holders to control the distribution and display of copies of their works. The owner of a particular copy is entitled to "sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy" and to "display the copy publicly ... to viewers present at the place where the copy is located."
                • The "good faith" defense (Section 504(c)(2)) protects educational institutions, libraries, archives, and public broadcasters, by permitting the court to limit statutory damages to only $200 if they reasonably believed their infringement was a fair use under Section 107.
                • Sections 108 and 110-122 include specific exemptions for types of works and particular entities, such as libraries (Section 108), public broadcasters (Sections 110 and 118), braille (Section 121), software backup copies (Section 117), "cover license" permitting sound recording covers (Section 115), and jukebox compulsory licenses (Section 116).
                • Section 512 ("OCILLA", passed as part of the DMCA in 1998) provides a contingent "safe harbor" for online service providers from secondary liability for their users' copy infringements.

                Fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as use for scholarship or review. ... The first-sale doctrine is an exception to copyright codified in the US Copyright Act, section 109. ... The Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA), a portion of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act known as DMCA 512 or the DMCA takedown provisions, is a 1998 US law that provided a safe harbor to online service providers (OSPs, including ISPs) that promptly take down content if someone alleges... The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a controversial United States copyright law which criminalizes production and dissemination of technology that can circumvent measures taken to protect copyright, not merely infringement of copyright itself, and heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. ...

                Government infringement

                The U.S. government, its agencies and officials, and corporations owned or controlled by it, are subject to suit for copyright infringement. All infringement claims against the U.S. that did not arise in a foreign country must be filed with the United States Court of Federal Claims within three years of the infringing action.[12] Claims filed in the wrong court are dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The government and its agencies are also authorized to settle the infringement claims out of court. The United States Court of Federal Claims is a special court created on October 1, 1982 by the U.S. Congress and headquartered in Washington, D.C.. By federal law, claims brought against the United States must be brought in this court; however, as this court is established under Article... Subject matter jurisdiction is a legal term used in civil procedure to indicate that a case must be entered in the proper court of law based on the nature of the claim. ...


                See also

                The International Copyright Act is the first U.S. congressional act that extended limited protection to foreign copyright holders from select nations. ... In the Federal Government of the United States, the Public Domain Enhancement Act (House Bill 2601) (PDEA) is a bill proposed in the United States Congress which, if passed, would add a tax for copyrighted works to retain their copyright status. ... The United States patent law is a first-to-invent patent legal framework in contrast to all other national patent laws. ... Trademarks were traditionally protected in the United States only under State common law, growing out of the tort of unfair competition. ... Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is a not-for-profit U.S. company based in Danvers, Massachusetts, that provides collective copyright licensing services for corporate and academic users of copyrighted materials. ... Presiding judge Categories: Law stubs | U.S. copyright case law ... Copyright ownership in the theatre and performing arts are most debatable in the direction category. ...

                References

                1. ^ H.R. Rep. No. 1476, 94th Cong., 2d Sess., at 131 (1976)
                2. ^ Crow v. Wainwright, 720 F.2d 1224 (11th Cir. 1983), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 819 (1984)
                3. ^ S. Rpt. 94-473
                4. ^ S. Rpt. 94-473. See also Legislative history of P.L. 94-553
                5. ^ a b 17 U.S.C. § 502
                6. ^ 17 U.S.C. § 504
                7. ^ a b c 17 U.S.C. § 504(c)
                8. ^ 17 U.S.C. § 402(d)
                9. ^ Lowry’s Reports, Inc. v. Legg Mason Inc., 271 F. Supp. 2d 737 (D. Md. 2003)
                10. ^ 17 U.S.C. § 505
                11. ^ Fogerty v. Fantasy, 510 U.S. 517 (1994)
                12. ^ 28 U.S.C. § 1498(b)-(c).

                The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ...

                External links

                Wikibooks
                Wikibooks has more about this subject:
                • Table of copyright status by age of material
                • U.S. Copyright Office Registration and searching of copyrights
                • Copyright Timeline:A History of Copyright in the U.S.
                • Copyright and Culture by Christopher D. Hunter

                  Results from FactBites:
                 
                US Copyright Law by IPWatchdog, Inc. (792 words)
                Copyright protection subsists only in original works of authorship if and only if the work is also fixed in a tangible medium of expression from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
                Copyright protection, however, does not and cannot exist for an idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described or embodied.
                Ideas are not protected by copyright law because protecting an idea would take the idea out of the public domain and would prevent others from using the idea to create their own independent and original works of authorship.
                Copyright Office Basics (7023 words)
                Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.
                Copyright in each separate contribution to a periodical or other collective work is distinct from copyright in the collective work as a whole and vests initially with the author of the contribution.
                Copyright is a personal property right, and it is subject to the various state laws and regulations that govern the ownership, inheritance, or transfer of personal property as well as terms of contracts or conduct of business.
                  More results at FactBites »

                 
                 

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