• What is "Copyright"?

    Which types of work are subject to copyright?

    Copyright ownership gives the owner the exclusive right to use the work, with some exceptions. When a person creates an original work, fixed in a tangible medium, he or she automatically owns copyright to the work.

    Many types of works are eligible for copyright protection, for example:

    • Audiovisual works, such as TV shows, movies, and online videos
    • Sound recordings and musical compositions
    • Written works, such as lectures, articles, books, and musical compositions
    • Visual works, such as paintings, posters, and advertisements
    • Video games and computer software
    • Dramatic works, such as plays and musicals

    The Copyright Office has information online, and you can check with a lawyer if you want to know more.

    Is it possible to use a copyright-protected work without infringing?

    Yes, in some circumstances, it is possible to use a copyright-protected work without infringing the owner’s copyright. For more about this, you may wish to learn about fair use. It is important to note that your content can be removed in response to a claim of copyright infringement, even if you have...

    • Given credit to the copyright owner
    • Refrained from monetizing the infringing content
    • Charged for a copy of the content in question
    • Noticed similar content that appear elsewhere on the internet
    • Purchased the content including a hard or digital copy
    • Recorded the content yourself from TV, a movie theater, or the radio
    • Copied the content yourself from a textbook, a movie poster or photograph
    • Stated that “no copyright infringement is intended”