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Vampire

In order to understand public domain material you must first understand the concept of copyright and understand the legalities when referring to “copyright”. The last thing you want to do when creating a product out of public domain works is to have some attorney sending you a letter demanding paypment for use of their clients content…or we will me you in court.

That’s a picture of a Vampire the first known attorney. You do realize attorney’s will suck every last drop of blood from you….so if you don’t the basics of public domain information right, you’ll be doing a lot of begging, crying and maybe paying 🙂

Tony Laidig’s book The Public Domain Codebook will help you stay within the confines of the law, plus take you much deeper in the use of public domain materials and works from many creative areas. I highly recommend it and all his books.

In this series I’ll try to print reliable information

What Is Copyright

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

*To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;

*To prepare derivative works based upon the work;

*To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

*To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;

*To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and

*In the case of sound recordings*, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

In addition, certain authors of works of visual art have the rights of attribution and integrity as described in section 106A of the 1976 Copyright Act. For further information, request Circular 40, Copyright Registration for Works of the Visual Arts.

It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of copyright. These rights, however, are not unlimited in scope. Sections 107 through 121 of the 1976 Copyright Act establish limitations on these rights. In some cases, these limitations are specified exemptions from copyright liability. One major limitation is the doctrine of “fair use,” which is given a statutory basis in section 107 of the 1976 Copyright Act. In other instances, the limitation takes the form of a “compulsory license” under which certain limited uses of copyrighted works are permitted upon payment of specified royalties and compliance with statutory conditions. For further information about the limitations of any of these rights, consult the copyright law or write to the Copyright Office.

*Note: Sound recordings are defined in the law as “works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, but not including the sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work.” Common examples include recordings of music, drama, or lectures. A sound recording is not the same as a phonorecord. A phonorecord is the physical object in which works of authorship are embodied. The word “phonorecord” includes cassette tapes, CDs, LPs, 45 r.p.m. disks, as well as other formats.

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