Duration of Copyright Protection
Copyright protection occurs and applies automatically on creation.
However, it does not last forever.
- For work created on or after January 1, 1978 - copyrighted
work is protected for your lifetime plus 50 years.
- Works created before January 1, 1978 - are subject to different
- Correctly configured copyrights have copyright protection
for 75 years from the date the copyright was obtained.
- Work that is anonymous or pseudonymous, or done for hire
- cpyright protection lasts for a total of 75 years from its
first publication, or 100 years from its creation, whichever
is shorter. Exception: If an anonymous or pseudonymous
author's identity is revealed during the term of the copyright,
the term changes to the life of the author plus 50 years.
When the term of protection expires, the work goes into the public
domain, which simply means that the copyright protection no longer
applies, and anyone may use the work for any purpose, commerical
or otherwise, without payment.
A creator may sell the rights to their copyrighted works. The
normal vehicle is by using a "license" or 'rights license'.
This agreement will specify the extend of the right to use.
You may sell total rights to copy your work, or specific rights
- Media format
You may also grant free or partial use of your copyright without
fee. This is referred to as a "Commons License". This
type of use normally requires acknowledgement of the author, inclusion
of a resource box statement and sometimes a link back to the original
work [for online reproduction].
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Please note that these articles about Copyright are informational only. Please
consult your legal advisor.