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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

NATIONAL LEGISLATION - USA

Copyright Laws and Regulations

Laws: Title 17, United States Code

Regulations: Title 37, Chapters I (Subchapter C)
and II, Code of Federal Regulations


TITLE 17 – UNITED STATES CODE

COPYRIGHTS

CHAPTER 1 – SUBJECT MATTER AND SCOPE OF COPYRIGHT

Sec.

101.  Definitions.

102.  Subject matter of copyright: In general.

103.  Subject matter of copyright: Compilations and derivative works.

104.  Subject matter of copyright: National Origin.

104A.  Copyright in restored works.

105.  Subject matter of copyright: United States Government works.

106.  Exclusive rights of copyrighted works.

106A.  Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity.

107.  Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.

108.  Limitations on exclusive rights: Reproduction by libraries and archives.

109.  Limitations on exclusive rights: Effect of transfer of particular copy or phonorecord.

110.  Limitations on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays.

111.  Limitations on exclusive rights: Secondary transmissions.

112.  Limitations on exclusive rights: Ephemeral recordings.

113.  Scope of exclusive rights in pictorial, graphic, and cultural works.

114.  Scope of exclusive rights in sound recordings.

115.  Scope of exclusive rights in non-dramatic musical works: Compulsory license for making and distributing phonorecords.

116.  Negotiated licenses for public performances by means of coin-operated phonorecord players.

116A.  [Transferred]

117.  Limitation on exclusive rights: computers programs.

118.  Scope of exclusive rights: Use of certain works in connection with noncommercial broadcasting.

119.  Limitations on exclusive rights: Secondary transmissions of superstations and network stations for private home viewing.

120.  Scope of exclusive rights in architectural works.

 

CHAPTER 2 – COPYRIGHT OWNERSHIP AND TRANSFER

201.  Ownership of copyright.

202.  Ownership of copyright as distinct from ownership of material object.

203.  Termination of transfers and licenses granted by the author.

204.  Execution of transfers of copyright ownership.

205.  Recordation of transfers and other documents.

 

CHAPTER 3 – DURATION OF COPYRIGHT

301.  Preemption with respect to other laws.

302.  Duration of copyright: Works created on or after January 1, 1978.

303.  Duration of copyright: Works created but not published or copyrighted before January 1, 1978.

304.  Duration of copyright: Subsisting copyrights.

305.  Duration of copyright: Terminal date.

 

CHAPTER 4 – COPYRIGHT NOTICE, DEPOSIT, AND REGISTRATION

401.  Notice of copyright: Visually perceptible copies.

402.  Notice of copyright: Phonorecords of sound recordings.

403.  Notice of copyright: Publications incorporating United States Government works.

404.  Notice of copyright: Contributions to collective works.

405.  Notice of copyright: Omission of notice on certain copies and phonorecords.

406.  Notice of copyright: Error in name or date on certain copies and phonorecords.

407.  Deposit of copies or phonorecords for Library of Congress.

408.  Copyright registration in general.

409.  Application for copyright registration.

410.  Registration of claim and issuance of certificate.

411.  Registration and infringement actions.

412.  Registration as a prerequisite to certain remedies for infringement.

 

CHAPTER 5 – COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT AND REMEDIES

501.  Infringement of copyright.

502.  Remedies for infringement: Injunctions.

503.  Remedies for infringement: Impounding and disposition of infringing articles.

504.  Remedies for infringement: Damage and profits.

505.  Remedies for infringement: Costs and attorney’s fees.

506.  Criminal offenses.

507.  Limitations on actions.

508.  Notification of filing and determination of actions.

509.  Seizure and forfeiture.

510.  Remedies for alteration of programming by cable systems.

511.  Liability of States, instrumentalities of States, and State officials for infringement of copyright.

 

CHAPTER 6 – MANUFACTURING REQUIREMENTS AND IMPORTATION

601.  Manufacture, importation, and public distribution of certain copies.

602.  Infringing importation of copies or phonorecords.

603.  Importation prohibitions: Enforcement and disposition of excluded articles.

 

CHAPTER 7 – COPYRIGHT OFFICE

701.  The Copyright Office: General responsibilities and organization.

702.  Copyright Office regulations.

703.  Effective date of actions.

704.  Retention and disposition of articles deposited in Copyright Office.

705.  Copyright Office records: Preparation, maintenance, public inspection, and searching.

706.  Copies of Copyright Office records.

707.  Copyright Office forms and publications.

708.  Copyright Office fees.

709.  Delay in delivery caused by disruption of postal or other services.

710.  Reproductions for use of the blind and physically handicapped: Voluntary licensing forms and procedures.

 

CHAPTER 8 – COPYRIGHT ARBITRATION ROYALTY PANELS

801.  Copyright arbitration royalty panels: establishment and purpose.

802.  Membership and proceedings of copyright arbitration royalty panels.

803.  Institution and conclusion of proceedings.

804.  [Transferred]

805.  [Repealed]

806.  [Repealed]

807.  [Repealed]

808.  [Repealed]

809.  [Repealed]

810.  [Repealed]

 

CHAPTER 9 – PROTECTION OF SEMICONDUCTOR CHIP PRODUCTS

901.  Definitions.

902.  Subject matter of protection.

903.  Ownership, transfer, licensing, and recordation.

904.  Duration of protection.

905.  Exclusive rights in mask works.

906.  Limitation on exclusive rights: Reverse engineering; first sale.

907.  Limitation on exclusive rights: Innocent infringement.

908.  Registration of claims of protection.

909.  Mask work notice.

910.  Enforcement of exclusive rights.

911.  Civil actions.

912.  Relation to other laws.

913.  Transitional provisions.

914.  International transitional provisions.

 

CHAPTER 10 – DIGITAL AUDIO RECORDING DEVICES AND MEDIA

1001.  Definitions.

1002.  Incorporation of copying controls.

1003.  Obligation to make royalty payments.

1004.  Royalty payments.

1005.  Deposit of royalty payments and deduction of expenses.

1006.  Entitlement to royalty payments.

1007.  Procedures for distributing royalty payments.

1008.  Prohibition on certain infringement actions.

1009.  Civil remedies.

1010.  Arbitration of certain disputes.

 

CHAPTER 11 – SOUND RECORDING AND MUSIC VIDEOS

1101.  Unauthorized fixation and trafficking in sound recordings and music videos.


17 U.S.C. 101 Definitions

Except as otherwise provided in this title, as used in this title, the following terms and their variant forms mean the following:

An "anonymous work" is a work on the copies or phonorecords of which no natural person is identified as author.

An "architectural work" is 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.

"Audiovisual works" are works 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.

The "Berne Convention" is 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.

A work is a "Berne Convention work" if--

  1. in the case of an unpublished work, one or more of the authors is a national of a nation adhering to the Berne Convention, or in the case of a published work, one or more of the authors is a national of a nation adhering to the Berne Convention on the date of first publication;

  2. the work was first published in a nation adhering to the Berne Convention, or was simultaneously first published in a nation adhering to the Berne Convention and in a foreign nation that does not adhere to the Berne Convention;

  3. in the case of an audiovisual work--

    1. if one or more of the authors is a legal entity, that author has its headquarters in a nation adhering to the Berne Convention; or

    2. if one or more of the authors is an individual, that author is domiciled, or has his or her habitual residence in, a nation adhering to the Berne Convention; or

  4. in the case of a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work that is incorporated in a building or other structure, the building or structure is located in a nation adhering to the Berne Convention; or

  5. in the case of an architectural work embodied in a building, such building is erected in a country adhering to the Berne Convention.

For purposes of paragraph (1), an author who is domiciled in or has his or her habitual residence in, a nation adhering to the Berne Convention is considered to be a national of that nation. For purposes of paragraph (2), a work is considered to have been simultaneously published in two or more nations if its dates of publication are within 30 days of one another.

The "best edition" of a work is 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.

A person's "children" are that person's immediate offspring, whether legitimate or not, and any children legally adopted by that person.

A "collective work" is 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.

A "compilation" is 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.

A "computer program" is a set of statements or instructions to be used directly or indirectly in a computer in order to bring about a certain result.

"Copies" are 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.

"Copyright owner", with respect to any one of the exclusive rights comprised in a copyright, refers to the owner of that particular right.

The "country of origin" of a Berne Convention work, for purposes of section 411, is the United States if--

  1. in the case of a published work, the work is first published--

    1. in the United States;

    2. simultaneously in the United States and another nation or nations adhering to the Berne Convention, whose law grants a term of copyright protection that is the same as or longer than the term provided in the United States;

    3. simultaneously in the United States and a foreign nation that does not adhere to the Berne Convention; or

    4. in a foreign nation that does not adhere to the Berne Convention, and all of the authors of the work are nationals, domiciliaries, or habitual residents of, or in the case of an audiovisual work legal entities with headquarters in, the United States;

  2. in the case of an unpublished work, all the authors of the work are nationals, domiciliaries, or habitual residents of the United States, or, in the case of an unpublished audiovisual work, all the authors are legal entities with headquarters in, the United States; or

  3. in the case of a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work incorporated in a building or structure, the building or structure is located in the United States.

For the purposes of section 411, the "country of origin" of any other Berne Convention work is not the United States.

A work is "created" when it 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.

A "derivative work" is 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".

A "device", "machine", or "process" is one now known or later developed.

A "digital transmission" is a transmission in whole or in part in a digital or other non-analog format.

To "display" a work means to show a copy of it, 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 non-sequentially.

The term "financial gain" includes receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works.

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.

The terms "including" and "such as" are illustrative and not limitative.

A "joint work" is 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.

"Literary works" are works, other than audiovisual works, 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.

"Motion pictures" are audiovisual works consisting of a series of related images which, when shown in succession, impart an impression of motion, together with accompanying sounds, if any.

To "perform" a work means to recite, render, play, dance, or act it, either directly or by means of any device or process or, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to show its images in any sequence or to make the sounds accompanying it audible.

"Phonorecords" are material objects in which sounds, other than those accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work, are fixed by any method now known or later developed, and from which the sounds can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. The term "phonorecords" includes the material object in which the sounds are first fixed.

"Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works" include 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. Such works shall include works of artistic craftsmanship insofar as their form but not their mechanical or utilitarian aspects are concerned; the design of a useful article, as defined in this section, shall be considered a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.

A "pseudonymous work" is a work on the copies or phonorecords of which the author is identified under a fictitious name.

"Publication" is the distribution of copies or phonorecords of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending. The offering to distribute copies or phonorecords 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.

To perform or display a work "publicly" means--

  1. to perform or display it 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 performance or 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.

"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.

"Sound recordings" 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, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as disks, tapes, or other phonorecords, in which they are embodied.

"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.

A "transfer of copyright ownership" is 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.

A "transmission program" is 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.

To "transmit" a performance or display is to communicate it by any device or process whereby images or sounds are received beyond the place from which they are sent.

The "United States", when used in a geographical sense, comprises the several States, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the organized territories under the jurisdiction of the United States Government.

A "useful article" is an article having an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information. An article that is normally a part of a useful article is considered a "useful article".

The author's "widow" or "widower" is 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.

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--

  1.  
    1. 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;
    2. any merchandising item or advertising, promotional, descriptive, covering, or packaging material or container;

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

  2. any work made for hire; or

  3. any work not subject to copyright protection under this title.


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.

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. For the purpose of the foregoing sentence, a "supplementary work" is a work prepared for publication as a secondary adjunct to a work by another author for the purpose of introducing, concluding, illustrating, explaining, revising, commenting upon, or assisting in the use of the other work, such as forewords, afterwords, pictorial illustrations, maps, charts, tables, editorial notes, musical arrangements, answer material for tests, bibliographies, appendixes, and indexes, and an "instructional text" is a literary, pictorial, or graphic work prepared for publication and with the purpose of use in systematic instructional activities.

(Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94-553, Title I, 101, 90 Stat. 2541; Dec. 12, 1980, 96-517, 10(a), 94 Stat. 3028; Oct. 31, 1988, 100-568, 4(a)(1), 102 Stat. 2854; Dec. 1, 1990, 101-650, Title VI, 602, Title VII, 702, 104 Stat. 5128, 5133; June 26, 1992, 102-307, Title I, 102(b)(2), 106 Stat. 266; Oct. 28, 1992, 102-563, 3(b), 106 Stat. 4248.)

(As amended Nov. 1, 1995, 104-39, 5(a), 109 Stat. 348; Nov. 13, 1997, 105-80, 12(a)(3), 111 Stat. 1534; Dec. 16, 1997, 105-147, 2(a), 111 Stat. 2678.)


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