10 Things You May Not Have Know About Copyrights

10. In most cases, a registered copyright will last your life plus 70 years. There are however exceptions to the rule. Cornell has a great resource page showing the common and special situations.

9. If you’ve asked for a copyright, you don’t need to renew it, as long as the work was created after January 1, 1978. Before this date renewal is optional but advised after 28 years.

8. Fair Use is a term commonly used when people use works in different ways. The Copyright office has created a doctrine of “fair use” by developing a substantial number of court decisions on the topic, using it to set precedence in current and future cases. The distinction between fair use and infringement is unclear and not easily defined. The most important thing to keep in mind is that most disagreements when it comes to fair use are settled in a court of law on a case by case basis. [Read more…]