What Can Be Registered as a Copyright?

Copyright law protects the “original work of authorship fixed in tangible mediums of expression”. So in order to be protected the work must be 1) created by the author seeking to register it (created independently); 2) original (not copied from somewhere in whole or in part); 3) creative (not a plain compilation of information); 4) fixed in a tangible mediums of expression (not merely an idea or plan to create in the future); and 5) non-utilitarian in nature (copyright protects only expression, not function. Functions are protected by Patent law).

An idea itself is not protectable until it is put into a tangible form. The works protected by Copyright law include:

  • Literary works
  • Musical works
  • Dramatic works
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works
  • Pictorial, graphic and sculptural works
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • Sound recordings
  • Architectural works
  • Vessel hulls

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