The Copyright Basics You Need to Know

A copyright protects the intellectual creative works of authors, such as books, movies, music, software, paintings, photographs, and many, many other types of work. A copyright application is filed with the Copyright Office. The application contains basic information such as the name and address of the author, the date the work was created, and most critically, a sample of your work is submitted to the Copyright Office, preferably in electronic form. To qualify for a copyright, you must be an author or work for hire. A work for hire is someone you hire to create your creative work, but you retain the rights to the work. How long? Does the copyright last? It lasts the life of the author plus 70 years. Works for hire lasts between 95 and 120 years. If you have more questions, we suggest consulting an experienced intellectual property attorney.