A COPYRIGHT PRIMER
PC Tips Vol. 7 Issue 1 reprints the following short excerpt from the Smart Computing Learning Series books.
If you are unfamiliar with copyright law, here are a few facts that you should have in mind if you enjoy downloading creative work off the Internet.
Copyrights for works created on or after Jan. 1, 1978 last the lifetime of the creator plus 70 years.
For works created on or after Jan. 1, 1978, registration is not a condition of protection. The law provides that the work is protected from the time it has been created, even in the absence of registration.
Anything published in the United States before 1923 has used up all its copyright.
Anything published after 1923 could still be under copyright protection assuming that the copyright owner has taken care to maintain the copyright.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 is a law specifically designed to protect copyrights online. The No Electronic Theft Act was passed to close loopholes in the DMCA.
If you still have questions about copyright issues, visit the U.S. Copyright Office Web site. Its “Copyright Basics Page” is an excellent place to find out answers to your questions (http://www.loc.gov/copyright/circs/circ1.html).
The Motion Picture Association of America’s Web site is a good place to go if you want to hear what writers, artists, and other creative copyright owners have to say about the issue of Internet piracy.
**The Smart Computing Learning Series are very good self instruction books for computer users in all categories.