NSU Publications Style Manual

51 The following information is adapted from the Library of Congress/United States Copyright Office’s homepage and this manual’s accepted style reference, The Chicago Manual of Style, which also provides information on copyright law. Those looking for a more detailed explanation on copyright should consult the U.S. Copyright Office or, for legal advice, an attorney. What is copyright law? Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States under Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The protection extends to authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of copyright. Copyright protects “original works of authorship” that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. The fixation need not be directly perceptible so long as it may be communicated with the aid of a machine or device. Copyrightable works include the following categories: • literary works • musical works, including any accompanying words • dramatic works, including any accompanying music • pantomimes and choreographic works • pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works • motion pictures and other audiovisual works • sound recordings • architectural works These categories should be viewed broadly. For example, computer programs and most “compilations” may be registered as “literary works”; maps and architectural plans may be registered as “pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.” A work that is created on or after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the author’s life plus an additional 70 years after the author’s death (or, in the case of multiple authors, 70 years after the last surviving author’s death). Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created. The work is considered created when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time. Copies are material objects from which a work can be read or visually perceived either directly or with the aid of a machine or device, such as books, manuscripts, sheet music, film, videotape, or microfilm. Phonorecords are material objects embodying fixation of sounds, such as cassette tapes, CDs, or LPs. A work does not necessarily have to be published (i.e., rented, sold, leased, lent, and/ or distributed) in order to be copyrighted. What is a notice of copyright? The use of a copyright notice is no longer required under U.S. law, although it is often beneficial because it informs the public that the work is protected by copyright, identifies the copyright owner, and shows the first year of publication. If a proper notice of copyright appears on the published copy or copies to which a defendant in a copyright infringement suit had access, it negates arguments of “innocent infringement,” in which the infringer claims that he did not know the work was protected. For written materials, the copyright notice should include three elements: (1) the symbol © (the letter C in a circle), or the word “copyright,” or the abbreviation “Copr.”; (2) the year of first publication of the work; (3) the name of the owner of the copyright in the work. A proper copyright notice should look like this: © 1999 John Doe The copyright notice should be affixed to the work in such a way as to “give reasonable notice of the claim of copyright.” Copyright and university publications The law sets forth specific guidelines and exemptions for the reproduction of copyrighted material by educators, libraries, and archives for use in private study, scholarship, and research. Exemptions are also in place for the reproduction of copyrighted works when the reproductions are specifically made for blind and physically handicapped people. A Brief Discussion of Copyright Law

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