Copyright and Trademark Standards

Copyright is defined as the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, and sell a literary, musical, or artistic work. Anything that is produced is a copyrighted piece of work as soon as it is produced it it falls under one of the above categories. In the United States, a work is under protection of copyright from the moment it is created until seventy years after its author’s death. During that period, the owner of a coipyrighted work owns the rights to its reproduction, display, distribution, and adaptation to deriavative works. (Note that a “work” can be copyrighted, but not an idea. Ideas must be patented.) A copyright infringement occurs when somebody copies a copyright protected work owned by somonhe else or exercise an exlcusive right without authorization.

Reference: The Graphic Design Reference + Specification Book – Poppy Evans + Aaris Sherin

A copyright notice, strategically placed on literary, musical, or artistic work, serves as a warning to potential plagiarizers. A copyright notice consists of the “Copyright” or its symbol, ©️, the year the work was created or first published, and the full name of the copyright owner. Example :©️2013 Pedro Diaz. For HTML pages, use the HTML numberc code © to insert a copyright notice. Example: <p>©2013 Pedro Diaz</p>.

The copyright notice should be placed where it is can be easily seen. Placing ther copy right notice on a piece of work isn’t absolutely necessary to claim copyright infrignement, but it is int he owner’s best interest to use this symbol as a warning. Original work can further protected by registering it with the U.S. Copyright office:

U.S. Copyright Office

101 Independence Ave. S. E. Washington, D.C. 20559-6000

(202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free)

Registering an artistic work requires filling an application with the Copyright office and acommpanying itg with two visual representations, in printed for digital form, of the work beign registered. There is $65 nonrefundable fee for paper registration and a $35 non-refundadable fee for electronic filling. Application froms can be found online at The work becomes registered on the date that all the required elements for registration are received by the U.S. Copyright office.

Public Domain

Older artistic creations, which are no longer protected by copyright, fall into category called “public domain,” and can be used by anyone without obtaining permission or paying fee. Uncredited or anonymous work are no longer protected by copyright beyond 95 years after the date of their publication or 120 years after their creation. Works credited to an artist or author are no longer protected beyon 70 years after creator’s death.


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