Copyrights 101: What You Need to Know

Copyrights 101: What You Need to Know | Pat Werschulz

Copyright is an area of intellectual property that is just as important as patents and trademarks. There are a lot of questions and misconceptions about copyright:

  • How do you get a copyright?
  • Who owns the copyright?
  • When does a copyright take effect?
Step 1 – Date of Creation  In 1989, the United States became a signer of the Berne Convention. Under this international treaty,  copyrights take effect as soon as an idea is embodied in fixed media. What does that mean? It means if you write your idea down on a piece of paper, store on your hard drive, paint it on a canvas, carve it in marble, or capture an image — these are all ways of fixing in media.

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