What Exclusive Rights Does Copyright Law Protect?

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As the owner of an original work, you are granted legal rights of protection under Copyright Law. More specifically, a copyright is a type of intellectual property that protects your original work as soon as you make it into a tangible form of expression. Continue reading to learn what exclusive rights Copyright Law will protect and how an experienced New Jersey copyright lawyer at The Ingber Law Firm can help you obtain these rights.

By definition, what is Copyright Law?

Put simply, the Copyright Law of the United States grants monopoly protection for original works of authorship. Such original works include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Literary works.
  • Musical works.
  • Dramatic works.
  • Choreographic works.
  • Pictorial works.
  • Graphic works.
  • Sculptural works.
  • Pantomimes.
  • Motion pictures.
  • Sound recordings.

With that being said, such original works are considered expressions. And so, Copyright Law does not grant monopoly protection over ideas, procedures, methods, discoveries, etc.

What exclusive rights are granted under Copyright Law?

According to Copyright Law, there are five fundamental and exclusive rights that owners are given. They read as follows:

  1. The authorization to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords.
  2. The authorization to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work.
  3. The authorization to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale, other transfer of ownership, rental, lease, or lending.
  4. The authorization to perform the copyrighted work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, along with pantomimes, motion pictures, and sound recordings.
  5. The authorization to display the copyrighted work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, along with pantomimes and the individual images of a motion picture.

And so, this bundle of rights may overlap in some cases, but they may also be owned and enforced separately.

How long do these exclusive rights last?

While a copyright’s exclusive rights may be of great benefit, you must understand that they will only last for a certain amount of time.

Notably, this timeline depends on the date on which you receive your copyright. If your work was copyrighted on or after January 1, 1978, then it will be protected from the date of its creation to 70 years after your death. If your work is created or contracted under another name, then it will be protected for 95 years after its publication or 120 years from the date of its creation.

We understand just how complex obtaining these exclusive rights may be. This is why we recommend that you request the services of a skilled Essex County, New Jersey intellectual property lawyer for this process. We look forward to working with you, and we await your call.