Copyright Glossary

A | B | C | D | F | G | J | L | P | R | S | T | W

A

Anonymous work a work on the copies or phonorecords of which no natural person is identified as author.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Architectural work the design of a building as embodied in any tangible medium of expression, including a building, architectural plans, or drawings. The work includes the overall form as well as the arrangement and composition of spaces and elements in the design, but does not include individual standard features.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Audiovisual work a work that consist of a series of related images which are intrinsically intended to be shown by the use of machines or devices such as projectors, viewers, or electronic equipment, together with accompanying sounds, if any, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as films or tapes, in which the works are embodied.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

B

Berne Convention the Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, signed at Berne, Switzerland, on September 9, 1886, and all acts, protocols, and revisions thereto.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Best edition the edition, published in the United States at any time before the date of deposit, that the Library of Congress determines to be most suitable for its purposes.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

C

Collective work a work, such as a periodical issue, anthology, or encyclopedia, in which a number of contributions, constituting separate and independent works in themselves, are assembled into a collective whole.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Compilation a work formed by the collection and assembling of preexisting materials or of data that are selected, coordinated, or arranged in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship. The term “compilation includes collective works.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Copies material objects, other than phonorecords, in which a work is fixed by any method now known or later developed, and from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. The term “copies includes the material object, other than a phonorecord, in which the work is first fixed.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Copyright owner with respect to any one of the exclusive rights comprised in a copyright, refers to the owner of that particular right.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Created when a work is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time; where a work is prepared over a period of time, the portion of it that has been fixed at any particular time constitutes the work as of that time, and where the work has been prepared in different versions, each version constitutes a separate work.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

D

Derivative work a work based upon one or more preexisting works,such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications,which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Device one now known or later developed.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Digital transmission a transmission in whole or in part in a or other nonanalog format.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Display to show a copy of a work, either directly or by means of a film, slide, television image, or any other device or process or, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to show individual images nonsequentially.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Display publicly means (1) to display a work at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered; or (2) to transmit or otherwise communicate a display of the work to a place specified by clause (1) or to the public, by means of any device or process, whether the members of the public capable of receiving the performance or display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or at different times.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

F

Financial gain includes receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Fixed a work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression when its embodiment in a copy or phonorecord, by or under the authority of the author, is sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more than transitory duration. A work consisting of sounds, images, or both, that are being transmitted, is “fixed for purposes of this title if a fixation of the work is being made simultaneously with its transmission.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

G

Graphic work includes two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art, photographs, prints and art reproductions, maps, globes, charts, diagrams, models, and technical drawings, including architectural plans.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

J

Joint work a work prepared by two or more authors with the intention that their contributions be merged into inseparable or interdependent parts of a unitary whole.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

L

Literary work work, other than audiovisual work, expressed in words, numbers, or other verbal or numerical symbols or indicia, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as books, periodicals, manuscripts, phonorecords, film, tapes, disks, or cards, in which they are embodied.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

P

Pictorial work includes two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art, photographs, prints and art reproductions, maps, globes, charts, diagrams, models, and technical drawings, including architectural plans.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Process one now known or later developed.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Publication the distribution of copies of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending. The offering to distribute copies to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display, constitutes publication. A public performance or display of a work does not of itself constitute publication.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

R

Registration for purposes of sections 205(c)(2), 405, 406, 410(d), 411, 412, and 506(e), means a registration of a claim in the original or the renewed and extended term of copyright.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

S

Sculptural work includes two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art, photographs, prints and art reproductions, maps, globes, charts, diagrams, models, and technical drawings, including architectural plans.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

State includes the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territories to which this title is made applicable by an Act of Congress.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

T

Transfer of copyright ownership an assignment, mortgage, exclusive license, or any other conveyance, alienation, or hypothecation of a copyright or of any of the exclusive rights comprised in a copyright, whether or not it is limited in time or place of effect, but not including a nonexclusive license.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Transmission program a body of material that, as an aggregate, has been produced for the sole purpose of transmission to the public in sequence and as a unit.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Transmit to communicate a work by any device or process whereby images or sounds are received beyond the place from which they are sent.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

W

Widow or widower the author’s surviving spouse under the law of the author’s domicile at the time of his or her death, whether or not the spouse has later remarried.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Work of visual art A work of visual art is —

(1) a painting, drawing, print or sculpture, existing in a single copy, in a limited edition of 200 copies or fewer that are signed and consecutively numbered by the author, or, in the case of a sculpture, in multiple cast, carved, or fabricated sculptures of 200 or fewer that are consecutively numbered by the author and bear the signature or other identifying mark of the author; or

(2) a still photographic image produced for exhibition purposes only, existing in a single copy that is signed by the author, or in a limited edition of 200 copies or fewer that are signed and consecutively numbered by the author.

A work of visual art does not include —

(a)(i) any poster, map, globe, chart, technical drawing, diagram, model, applied art, motion picture or other audiovisual work, book, magazine, newspaper, periodical, data base, electronic information service, electronic publication, or similar publication;

(ii) any merchandising item or advertising, promotional, descriptive, covering, or packaging material or container;

(iii) any portion or part of any item described in clause (i) or (ii);

(b) any work made for hire; or

(c) any work not subject to copyright protection under this title.25 A “work of the United States Government is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

Work made for hire A work made for hire is —

(1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or

(2) a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire.Source: 17 USC §101 “Definitions”

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