Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Copyright-what does it mean?

I've been assigned the task of writing about copyrighting. I really don't know much about the definition of copyright except that it protects the rights of those who have original writings, be it poetry, songs, legal documents, or what have you. I don't know how easy it is to get one or how much protection it gives. I know when I was a student teacher, a teacher I worked with added the copyright symbol to anything he designed, be it assignment sheet, worksheet, or test. He didn't mind if people used his work, he just wanted credit for it. I don't know how that would stand up legally but I guess I'll do some searching! The first visit will be to my dictionary. Let's see, Webster's New World Dictionary, 4th edition says that copyright means, "the exclusive right to the publication, production, or sale of the rights to a literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work, or to the use of a commercial print or label, granted by law for a specified period of time to an author, composer, artist, distributor, etc." Okay! I did have the general idea. I'll add more as I discover more!

6 comments:

Steph Herfel said...

Yes, I am interested in knowing how much it costs to get a copyright on something...What is the process, and do you have to prove that it is your own original work? Who governs this whole process? Definitely, an interesting question. I have read too many of the Simpson's pages but hope to get around to it soon!

vbonnie said...

Thanks for your questions! I'll have to do a bit of research as to what agency, what people, control copyrights! Who's in charge?

Steph Herfel said...

I am catching up on my reading and to answer my own question from my last post...In "Copyright for Schools," Simpson states that the 1976 copyright law protects a work automatically as soon as it is "fixed in tangible form." This basically means as soon as someone writes a paper, book, journal article or any other work, it is protected by copyright law. "Fixed" simply means written down, painted, recorded, etc. Of course, authors register their copyrights with the Copyright Office in D.C., and this cost about $30 (Simpson, p. 22).

vbonnie said...

Wait, that kind of sounds like if you write something original it's protected even if you don't register it for a copyright? That kind of sounds like my teacher friend did have rights with his worksheets. Except...I guess technically the district he worked for owns the rights. A bit confusing.

lorena said...

I found the same information on the website link I posted on my blog. As long as something has been written or recorded by someone, it's got a measure of protection. Would you believe even emails are loosely included?!?

vbonnie said...

I imagine that's useful to businesses, politicians, etc. Think of all of the incriminating letters that have been used throughout history. Does including emails as copyright require a subpoena to get them?