The definition of copyright

Copyright is defined as an exclusive right to publish, sell or otherwise treat written material, be it a book containing any type of material. The Copyright Act 1976 protects any writing after January 1, 1978 for the life of the author plus seventy years. If there are two or more authors of a work, the copyright lasts for 70 years from the death of the last remaining author. However, anonymous posts are different. They last 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from the date of writing, whichever is shorter.

Any work that existed before January 1, 1978 was originally protected by copyright for 28 years with a renewal of that term available. Copyright law extended the renewal period to 47 years, making the total period 75 years. Public law number 105-298, which was drafted on October 27, 1998, extended the term to 67 years, for a total of 95 years.

The availability of any work in the public domain where it is freely accessible to the outside world cannot be copyrighted, since it is accessible to anyone. Therefore, anyone can freely copy and distribute it. If a work is protected by copyright, it is indicated by a small c in a circle or the words copyright are written underneath.

The practice of requiring that a notice be published informing people of copyright is not a requirement of the law as amended on March 1, 1989 at the Berne Convention. The United States along with other countries agreed to follow their guidelines. However, works written before the date required written notification or were considered in the public domain. If a notice is still in use after that date, it is beneficial to the author as it identifies his name, the date of writing and publication, and assists in any work-related legal matter.

Copyright law protects the intellectual property of individuals or a group of people, of unscrupulous people who would try to benefit from the hard work and knowledge of others.

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