Before you Get Started
A copyright is a property right granted by federal statute for an original work of authorship, fixed in a tangible form of expression.
For most works, the author typically owns the copyright. See Copyright: Who Owns What? for exceptions and more information.
- Books, poems, essays, music, pictorial works, movies and software are copyrightable;
- Works can be purely digital (webpage design, web graphics);
- Names, titles, short phrases, and slogans are not copyrightable;
- You are not required to do anything for copyright protection; it is automatic;
- You can, however, register your work with the government's Copyright Office;
- Registering within 3 months of creation helps you gain statutory damages if you choose to sue for infringement; and
- Works do not need the copyright symbol ©, but it is a good idea to use it.
UCLA TDG can help with:
- Licensing questions
- Commercialization opportunities
- Open source license selection and questions
- Copyright education
- General copyright questions
- Determining copyright ownership