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All about copyright

What is copyright?

According to wikipedia: a copyright is a set of exclusive rights granted to the creator of an original work for a limited period of time. The copyright owner has the exclusive right to exercise control over copying and distributing the original work.

Also from wikipedia, copyright does not protect ideas.

Copyright time

Under the Copyright Act, the time of copyright protection is: the life of the author + 50 years after the author’s death.

If the copyright is under multiple authors, the time of protection is: the life of the last surviving author + 50 years.

How to copyright / Copyright registration

Registration of copyright is not required. When you create an original work, you automatically receive copyright rights.

If you want to, you can register your copyright with the government and receive a certificate to better be protected by the laws. You would need to fill out a form with the Copyright Office and pay a fee.

Copyright sign / Copyright notice

Copyright signUnder the Copyright Act, when you distribute your works to the public and you want the public to know that your work is copyrighted, you should include a copyright notice. The notice should be visible and may consist of the following elements:

  • The word Copyright, the symbol © or the abbreviation Copr.
  • The year of first publication of the work.
  • The name of the owner of the copyrighted work.

You may also elect to add the phrase All rights reserved to the notice.

Example: Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved.

Copyright protection / Rights of copyright owner

The owner of a copyrighted work is granted with the following rights:

  • To reproduce the work at any time.
  • To distribute copies to the public, either for free or for a fee.
  • To perform the work publicly i.e. music or any other audiovisual work
  • To display the work publicly i.e graphic, sculptural work, etc…
  • To transfer/sell your ownership to another person or company


  • Wikipedia:
  • MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing 2nd Edition p.33-p.60
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