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Welcome to the Copyright Website, the ultimate copyright portal for real world, practical copyright information. Launched on May Day 1995, the Copyright Website strives to lubricate the machinations of information delivery. As spice is to Dune, information is to the Web; the spice must flow.

  • Specialized information for webmasters, musicians, moviemakers, screenwriters, programmers and photographers.
  • General copyright information for educators, students, web-surfers, re-mixers, mash-uppers and confused citizens.

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What's New

Patent Gadget

Looking for information on protecting your ideas with a patent? Check out the new PatentGadget site!

visual
visual

See the notorious fights over copyright on the big screen. Includes streaming video.

audio
audio

Hear the samplers, appropriators, copiers, alleged pillagers of copyright and fair users. Includes streaming audio.

digital
digital

A look at some of the bleeding edge issues involving software and the Net.

info
info

Get up to speed on the basics of Copyright Law.

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What is Copyright?

Here in the information age, virtually all intellectual creations can be protected by some form of intellectual property law. Intellectual property divides the universe of intellectual creations into three domains: copyrights, trademarks and patents. In a nutshell, copyright protects expression, trademark protects names, and patents protect ideas.

Copyright protects creative expression that has been reduced to a tangible form, such as a book, piece of recorded music, computer program, screenplay, painting, photograph, or motion picture.

Trademark protects brand names, literally marking items in trade. The idea behind trademark is to protect the consumer by giving them some confidence that items branded with a certain mark are authentic and come from where they purport to come from.

Patent protects innovation. While you can't copyright an idea, you can patent one.