Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Guidelines for determining copyright.
Images--photographs, clip art, drawings, graphics--are usually copyright-protected. Determining the copyright owner for photographs is sometimes difficult. In general, the photographer is considered the owner even if the work was for hire (such as photographs of a wedding or other event). And the copyright endures even if the photographer is no longer living--rights can be transferred by a will as personal property. The photographer must specifically transfer the copyright, in writing and the document must be signed to another person.
Stock photography and clip art sold in books, on Cd's or down loadable from web sites is royalty-free(or may be in the public domain) but usually is not copyright-free. Exercise care when using the images. By reading the agreement or license that accompanies the image or is available on the website, you'll understand what your rights are for reproduction of the image and whether there are limitations on use. The most common limitation is for incorporating the image into something you intend to offer for sale.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How long does a copyright remain in force?
The length of a copyright varies depending on the type of work, whether it has been published, and whether it was created by an individual or was work-for-hire. In most countires, copyright protection is equal to the life of the author plus 50 or 70 years.
The length and requirements for copyright can be changed by legislation. In addition, copyright laws can be updated to include protection for new types of original work such as the creation of software programs.
In the United States, copyright extends for a fixed number of years after the creation or publication date, then expires at year end. All copyrights for works published before 1923 have expired and the works are now in the public domain. Works published between 1923 and 1964 are in the public domain unless the copyright was renewed. Works published before 1978 without including the copyright notice are in the public domain. For works published after March 1, 1989, copyright notice is not required as a condition of establishing copyright protection.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Copyright law, which has its origins in English law dating back to 1662, was written into the Constitution of the United States in 1887. Congress enacted the first federal copyright law(An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by Securing the Copies of Maps, Charts and Books to the Authors and Proprietors of Such Copies) in May 1790 and the first work was registered two weeks later. In 1870 copyright functions were placed within the Library of Congress; the Copyright Office became a separate department within the Library of Congress in 1897. The copyright law has been revised repeatedly in, 1831,1870,1909 and 1976.
Copyright law applies to seven broad categories;
1. Literary works
2. Musical works
3. Dramatic works
4. Pantomimed and choreographed works
5. Pictorial, graphics and sculptural works
6. Motion pictures and audiovisual works
7. Sound recordings

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The digital revolution has made it very easy for us to access material from files, web sites and the Internet. We all freely copy things we like and send them to others, use them on our social network sites or add them to our presentations and reports. The ease with which we can claim material for our own use may be obscuring the fact that much of this use could violate copyright laws.
What is copyright?
Copyright is legal protection for authors on how their original works are used. The owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to:
1. reproduce the work
2. prepare derivative works
3. distribute copies of the work by selling, renting, leasing or lending and
4. perform or display the work publicly
Copyright protects a wide variety of original works,from the written word (poetry, stories, books) to entertainment(songs, movies, video games, plays, choreography) to visual arts (paintings, sculptures, photographs, architecture). It also includes software code, derivative work and compilations.