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An overview of copyright law

When an individual creates something in California or any other state, it is possible that it will be covered by copyright. According to copyright law, anything that is an original creation recorded on a fixed medium can be eligible for such protection. Examples of items that can be copyrighted include movies, recorded songs or stories that are written on paper or saved on a computer. Computer programs themselves may be copyrighted as a literary work.

Pictures, graphics and sculptures may also be eligible for protection against use by others. Architectural drawings are generally considered to be graphic or pictorial in nature, which makes them eligible for a copyright. While many different items can be protected under intellectual property law, not everything can be given a copyright. For example, the title of a seminar may not be kept away from others seeking to use it as well.

Furthermore, a simple list of information is generally not unique enough to be considered an original creation. This typically applies to those who publish recipes or similar content. If a book, song or other form of expression is not written or saved anywhere, it is unlikely that it will qualify for a copyright. For instance, a person who gives an improvised speech at a conference may not be able to protect it under intellectual property laws.

Artists, writers and others who are interested in protecting their intellectual property rights may want to work with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to determine if an item can be copyrighted or otherwise protected in court. If a person has a copyright or trademark, an attorney may help an individual defend it in court. In some cases, it may be possible to obtain compensation if a copyright or trademark is infringed upon.

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