Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Copyright Law

Okay, copyright law isn't sexy.

But it is handy.

There are real some basic things about copyrighting film and video work that I was completely unaware of. But a recent visit to The United State Copyright Office set me up with all the copyright information I'll ever want. For a government office, they have a great, straightforward website. Check the copyright basics for some quick answers, but if you get into the details this stuff is very useful.

For instance, here's all you have to do to properly mark your film or video for copyright.

Another surprising piece of knowledge from the office: "Copyright exists from the moment the work is created.... Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device."

While The U.S. Copyright Office charges fees to register a creative work, they kindly points out that those fees are almost completely unnecessary. Whoever heard of a government office not trying to charge you fees?!

Also, whoever put this site together had a strange sense of humor - check the link on how to copyright your Elvis siting!

And a final pointer: just press option-g to get that nifty little copyright symbol.

© 2007 Nathan Kensinger/Down and Dirty DV

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