Copyright Frequently Asked Questions courtesy of

What is Copyright Length?

For works created after January 1, 1978, the duration of a copyright is for the life of the author plus 70 years. If the author is an anonymous or is an employer, then the copyright lasts for 95 years from publication or for 120 years from creation, whichever occurs first.

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What is a Copyright Registration?

A process of registering a copyrightable work with the U.S. Copyright Office, which provides key advantages to the copyright owner should an infringement occur.

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What is a Copyright?

A group of rights held by an author, creator, or developer of an original work of authorship.

  • A copyright is a form of protection for, among other things, the originality or artistic content of books, music, paintings, photographs, screen plays, website content, technical drawings, instruction manuals, computer programs, and the like.
  • Copyrights do not protect the substance of the material.

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What is a Copyrightable Work?

Any type of original and creative expression that can be fixed in a physical form of expression (paper, photograph, film, record, CD, etc.).

What is Fair Use?

A limited use of a copyrighted work not requiring the owner's permission for uses such as comment, news reporting, teaching, or research.

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What is the U.S. Copyright Office?

A branch of the Library of Congress responsible for the implementation of certain federal copyright laws.

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