Sale of Copyright to a Published Book
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A copyright is the exclusive right given by federal statute to the creator of a literary or an artistic work to use, reproduce, and display the work. The creator of the work has a limited monopoly on the work and can, with some exceptions, prohibit others from copying or displaying the work. Copyright law protects such works as writing, music, artwork, and computer programs.
A copyright gives one the exclusive right to use or reproduce a literary, artistic, dramatic, audiovisual or musical work, or a computer program for the creator's life plus 50 years. If a work is a work made for hire, this means that a person was hired specifically to create the copyrighted work.
As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. For works first published prior to 1978, the term will vary depending on several factors.
A copyright is obtained simply by creating the work. It comes into existence automatically on the dated it is created. However, in order to get federal protection of a copyright, you have to file two copies of the work with the Copyright Office in Washington, D.C.
Copyright law is designed to create an incentive for creativity by allowing the author to profit from his work. The Act tries to balance this need to protect the author with the publics need for free and open discussion. A copyright owner has the exclusive right to:
" reproduce the work;
" prepare derivative works such as a script from the original work ( ex., movie script for The Rainmaker);
" distribute copies or recordings of the work; and publicly display the work in the case of paintings, sculptures and photographs.
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