As a trial lawyer, I have succesfully handled several copyright infringement cases representing both the plaintiff and the defendant. Although these types of cases involve an area of the law that most people and lawyers are not familar with, it really is not that complicated once you sink your teath into them.
Generally, copyright protects the original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, including: (1) literary works; (2) musical works, including any accompanying words; (3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music; (4) pantomimes and choreographic works; (5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; (6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works; (7) sound recordings; and (8) architectural works.
Copyright protection of an original work of authorship does not extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work. The term “literary works” is not meant to suggest any criterion of literary merit or qualitative value, rather the term has been broadened to include catalogs, directories, and similar factual, reference, or instructional works and compilations of data. It also includes computer data bases, and computer programs to the extent that they incorporate authorship in the programmer’s expression of original ideas, as distinguished from the ideas themselves. Also, “Advertisement Copy” is considered “Literary Works.”
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