What can be copyrighted?

Old BooksCopyrights protect the following types of works including literary works;  musical works; dramatic;  pantomime and choreographic works; graphic, pictorial, and sculptural works; motion pictures and audio-visual recordings;  and architectural works.  17 U.S.C. 102(a).

Non-exhaustive examples of each type of works are as follows:

  • Literary works

Literary works includes magazine and newspaper articles, books, essays, letters, poems, computer software programs, blog posts and other forms of written expression.

  •             Musical works

Musical works include musical notes and sound-recorded music. 

  •          Dramatic works

Dramatic works include screenplays, television scripts, and stage plays.  

  •          Choreographic works

Choreographic works include dances and pantomime performances.

  •          Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works

Pictorial, graphic and sculptural works include paintings, photography, sculptures, hand-written drawings, and computer drawings.

  •          Motion pictures and other audiovisual works

Motion pictures and other audiovisual works include movies, television shows, commercials, podcasts,  and slideshows.

  •          Sound recordings

Sound recordings include songs, instrumental music, speeches, audio books, broadcasts, and sound effects.

  •          Architectural works 

Any design plans or sketches for commercial buildings or residences may be protected for their original, non-functional design elements.

Please Note:  McCabe Rabin, P.A. provides these FAQ’s for informational purposes only, and you should not interpret this information as legal advice.  If you want advice as to how the law might apply to the specific facts and circumstances of your case, please contact one of our attorneys.