Statutes on Video Copyrights

By Heather Frances J.D.

The entire U.S. copyright law, which includes provisions that protect videos and other types of artistic expression, is contained in Title 17 of United States Code. This federal law describes the details of copyright protection including the types of works that can be protected, how they can be registered and what protections they have from potential violators.

The entire U.S. copyright law, which includes provisions that protect videos and other types of artistic expression, is contained in Title 17 of United States Code. This federal law describes the details of copyright protection including the types of works that can be protected, how they can be registered and what protections they have from potential violators.

Categories of Protected Works

Title 17 protects original works of authorship, meaning the work cannot be a copy if the author wants it to qualify for copyright protection. Works can include literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and some intellectual works, whether published or unpublished. Generally, videos qualify for protection under copyright laws.

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Protections

Copyright protections give the owner of the copyright the ability to control certain aspects of the work's distribution. For videos, the copyright owner is the only person who can reproduce copies of the work, create derivative works based on the original video, distribute or lease copies of the video or play the video publicly. Title 17 describes penalties and enforcement options for those who violate these copyright protections, as well as a few narrow exceptions where these protections do not apply. For example, the doctrine of fair use, described at section 107, allows limited use of copyrighted videos and other material without the copyright owner's permission, particularly when the use is for non-commercial purposes and only a small portion of the video is used. Fair use depends on several factors, so if you are interested in using copyrighted material, you may wish to research this issue further or consult an attorney.

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Examples of Fair Use Copyright Laws in the Classroom

References

Related articles

Fair Use Copyright Laws for Education

Copyright laws restrict individuals from using, copying or otherwise reproducing copyrighted materials without permission from the author. Copyrighted materials may include books, publications, films, multimedia works, photographs and works of art. Fair use provisions allow use of such materials in certain situations, including teaching, scholarship and educational research. These provisions aim to balance the legitimate rights of copyright owners to protect their work against the public interest. The relevant laws are set out in Section 107 of Title 17 of the U.S. Code.

What Makes Something an Original Work for Purposes of Copyright Law?

Copyright protection is only available for works that are original in nature, such as an artist's painting, an author's novel or an architect's drawing. If someone creates a work that is new or different from anything else, chances are he can copyright it.

The Right to Sell Copyrighted Material

A copyright is a bundle of rights that includes a legal monopoly on the right to sell a particular work of authorship. If you wish to sell material copyrighted by someone else, or to sell a work that incorporates such material, you might be able to rely on one of two strategies: either take advantage of exceptions to copyright protection or obtain permission from the copyright holder.

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