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What is a Copyright?

What is a Copyright?

  • A copyright is an exclusive right to reproduce and prepare derivative works of an original work of authorship. When compared with the patent right, a copyright is affirmative in nature because it gives the owner a right to do something other than just preventing other people from doing something.
  • A copyright protects the expression of an idea rather than the idea itself.
    • Section 102(b) of Title 17 of the United States Code provides “[i]n 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.”
    • Example: ¬†A copyright protects an artist’s photograph of a mountain. ¬†Copyright does not protect the idea of photographing the same mountain from the same location.