Eight Works of Authorship That Can Be Copyrighted
On the eighth day of Christmas, we would like to share the eight different types of works that can be copyrighted. Only particular works are eligible for copyright protection, section 102 of the Copyright Act defines copyrightable “works of authorship” to include:
- Music –Music, including any accompanying words. Lyrics, notes, and composition in some published format.
- Sound Recordings – Aural reproduction of some material (which may or may not itself be copyrighted), these are works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, but not including the sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work.
- Literary works – Words captured as a book, periodical, poem, essay, spoken word (i.e., speeches), etc. and include non-dramatic textual works with or without illustrations.
- Visual arts – Pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including 2D and 3D, works of fine, graphic, and applied art.
- Choreography/dance/pantomime – Choreography is the composition and arrangement of dance movements and patterns usually intended to be accompanied by music.
- Drama – The play itself, including dialog, stage direction, etc. The Drama copyright may also include the musical score.
- Audio Visual – Video/films – Series of related visual images that impart an impression of motion, which may or may not be accompanied by sound, such as films, videos, slides presentations, and video games.
- Architecture – An original design of a building embodied in any tangible medium of expression, including a structure, architectural plans, or drawings.
Church leaders need to have knowledge of all the types of work that can be copyrighted because of the increasing use of a variety of creative works and the growing risk of liabilities. Copyright infringement penalties can be severe, up to $150,000 for each infringement. Fifteen years ago, churches primarily reproduced and used music, but today more innovation and more creativity had resulted in churches using just about every type of work listed above.
Questions regarding which type of copyright coverage your church needs? Call us at 877-394-5566 or chat with a live copyright consultant online.
About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches. Follow us onTwitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.