America Loves Them Some Intellectual Property

22 July 2010 § Leave a comment

Amid the US Copyright Office’s FAQ – questions like “What does copyright protect?” and “Does my work have to be published to be corrected?” – comes this helpful and informative paragraph:

How do I protect my sighting of Elvis?

Copyright law does not protect sightings. However, copyright law will protect your photo (or other depiction) of your sighting of Elvis. File your claim to copyright online by means of the electronic Copyright Office (eCO). Pay the fee online and attach a copy of your photo. Or, go to the Copyright Office website, fill in Form CO, print it, and mail it together with your photo and fee. For more information on registration a copyright, see SL-35. No one can lawfully use your photo of your sighting, although someone else may file his own photo of his sighting. Copyright law protects the original photograph, not the subject of the photograph.

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