Posted tagged ‘Work Originality’

Copy, Right?

April 10, 2010

I am sure that by now we are all fully familiar with the concept of copyright. We are confronted by it on a daily basis. For instance, when we want to download articles, movies, music and so on. But are you aware of  what the requirements are for something to have copyright?

Copyright beneficiaries are not required to devise something inventive or new; an author need establish only that she has created (i) an “original work of authorship” that is (ii) “fixed in a tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which [it] can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.” 17 U.S.C. § 102(a). Fixation is satisfied so long as the work is stored in some tangible form from which a person or machine can perceive it; storage on a computer’s hard drive, on a diskette, or on a CD-ROM disc all qualify.

The work needs to be of independent creation rather than copying someone elses work. However, the standard of originality causes a lot of difficulties for the courts. What do you think?