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FAQ Regarding Copyright

FAQ Regarding Copyright - uwc-accordion-1

Copyright is one form of intellectual property protection that is grounded in the U.S. Constitution. Copyright protects original works of authorship that has been fixed in a tangible medium. A work is under copyright protection the moment it is created. There is no requirement for publishing to enjoy copyright protection. More copyright basics here. 

All three are methods of protecting different types of intellectual property. While copyright protects original works of authorship, patents protect inventions and discoveries and trademark protects the words, phrases, symbols, or designs that identify the source of goods or services. The three methods or protection also vary in terms of how long the protection lasts. For works created after 1978, copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. Patents last for a more restricted period of 20 years from the filing date of the application while protection for a trademark may last in perpetuity for as long as the mark is being continuously used in commerce. 

Anyone who rightly can claim ownership of a qualifying work may register it. This includes works of foreign origin, works of minors, or works that may have been inherited from the original author. See here for further explanation. 

No. By common law, a work enjoys copyright protection and all the rights associated with copyright from the moment it is fixed into a tangible medium of expression. However, copyright registration allows the author to pursue litigation claims, or other such enforcement, against any infringing work. See here for the benefits of copyright registration. 

No. The only requirement for copyright registration of the work is that it be an original work of authorship in a fixed, tangible medium of expression. 

Ownership of copyright can be transferred in many ways including by assignment of those rights to a third party or bequeathing rights in a will or trust.

While there is no such thing has international copyright law, the United States belongs to multiple treaties whose signatory countries are obligated to protect copyright in that country. Your level of protection in other countries will depend upon their local laws and adherence to international treaties. 

Copyright protects original works of authorship that are in a fixed, tangible medium of expression. Copyright does not protect ideas, facts, methods, processes, titles, short phrases, slogans, or work that is not fixed in a tangible medium such as choreographic work not notated or recorded or improvisational speech not written down. See Circular 33 for more information regarding works not protected by copyright. 

Yes. Just like other forms of property such as real estate or personal property that can be devised by will or laws of intestate succession, copyright can be inherited by heirs or assigns of the original copyright owner.

No, unless your use of the work falls into permissible Fair Use. Otherwise failure to obtain permission or a license would be infringement of someone else’s copyright. 

To date, the U.S. Copyright Office has rejected applications in which a machine, not a human, created generative artwork. Undoubtedly, the relationship between AI and copyright will continue to evolve over the years. 

UW-based FAQ

UW-based FAQ - uwc-accordion-2

Yes. However, to be in compliance with the UW Executive Order 36, there are particular open source licenses that should be used. Further information on that is available here.

The UW libraries have prepared resources for ensuring that materials used for class is in compliance.

Executive Order 36 is located here.

The UW libraries have prepared resources which provide direction to the thousands of videos available through UW libraries.

Send an email to [email protected] to report a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint.