What are copyrights?

by Charles R. Wilson, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist 

Copyrights fall under the general definition of intellectual property law. They are products of the human mind or intellect. Copyrights protect original works that are fixed in a tangible form. Copyrightable works include literary, musical, choreographic, dramatic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, video, and architectural works. Copyright rights arise when the work is created. Registration in the U.S. Copyright Office is not required for protection, though does establish a public record of the copyright claim and is necessary before an infringement suit in court can be filed.

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