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Truth 36. Copyrights laws: A surprising ... > What is protected by a copyright?

What is protected by a copyright?

Copyright law protects “original works of authorship.” The primary categories of material that can be copyrighted are as follows:

Image Literary works

Image Musical compositions

Image Computer software

Image Dramatic works

Image Sound recordings

Image Architectural works

Image Motion pictures and other audiovisual works

Image Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works

Anything that is written down is a literary work. Characters that are associated with a company qualify for protection. A character that looks like the Aflac duck or the GEICO gecko would infringe on the copyright that protects those characters. Derivative works, which are works that are new renditions of something that is already copyrighted, are also copyrightable. As a result of this provision, a musician who performs a rendition of a song copyrighted by Aerosmith can obtain a copyright on his or her effort. Of course, Aerosmith would have to consent to the infringement on its copyright of the original song before the new song could be used commercially, which is a common way that composers and bands earn an extra income.


  

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