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Characters and Copyright Protection

Gerald M. Levine, co-author It would be unusual in a work of any genre for every part to be protected by copyright law even though the whole work bears the symbol ©. Only when an infringement is alleged and challenged does it become apparent that the phrase “original works of authorship” (Section 102(a) of the […]

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Derivative Works: Who Owns What?

Courts have recently been busy dealing with the puzzling concepts of derivative works, fair use, and transformation. “Transformation” is the underlying principle of derivative works created either by the author or licensees with the author’s permission; or created without the author’s permission legally under the fair use doctrine. There are two sets of rights granted […]

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Celebrating 305 Years of Statutory Copyright Law

Gerald M. Levine, Co-author Rights in Literary Property The United States Copyright Office and many people on social media, particularly on Twitter, have been celebrating the enactment of the first national copyright act in this country that President Washington signed into law on May 31, 1790. The 1790 Act was largely adopted from an earlier […]

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Authors and Domain Names

Copyright law is the principal system for protecting authors’ creations. It confers rights without requiring any other action, but in order to fully benefit from the law authors and parties to whom copyrights have been assigned or sold have to record their copyrights with the Copyright Office. Recordation is the key to protection. Once that […]

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The Role of Investors in Marketing Literary Works

The following article first appeared in Independent Publisher. The full text can also be read in full below. Co-Author Gerald M. Levine Copyright adheres to creative works when they are fixed in tangible mediums of expression for the first time. At the moment of fixation authors own and control their works in every respect, but […]

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Internet Subscription Libraries

Co-author, Gerald M. Levine New Internet subscription libraries are offering to “lend” digital books based on subscription models that brick and mortar lending libraries in England invented in the 19th Century.  For $X dollars per time period subscribers gain access to vast collections of backlist and self-published books at less cost and with none of […]

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Terminating Exclusive Licenses

Co-author, Gerald M. Levine Terminating exclusive licenses after the passage of time is a statutory right. The Copyright Act of 1976 decrees that the author shall have a right exercisable only once for each separate literary work under exclusive license and for a brief window of time after 35 years from the date of a […]

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Is Publishing Under Threat of Extinction?

C0-author Gerald M. Levine, Esq. The traditional world of publishing is under threat of extinction; at least, that is the chatter on the Internet and news stories . The current message forecasts a grim future. The evidence is all around us. There is a steady diet of gloom from news reports, court filings by the […]

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Author’s Right to Compensation for Intellectual Production

Co-author, Gerald M. Levine Authors’ incomes generally come from royalties and licensing revenues for works protected by copyright. He or she has a right to compensation for intellectual production.  Section 102(a) of the U.S. Copyright Act states that “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression” are protected by copyright.  By definition […]

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