What Copyright Covers

 

Copyright protection is available for four different types of original works: literary works, dramatic works, musical works and artistic works.

Things that are written and original qualify as literary works, even if they have no literary merit to them. Thus, the source code of a computer program is a literary work, and so are the instructions written on the outside of a packaging box.

Dramatic works include plays, but they also include choreography and mimes.

Musical works cover just the music itself. The lyrics to songs are covered separately as literary works, and recordings of music are covered separately as sound recordings.

Artistic works include drawings, paintings, sculptures and engravings, but they also include photographs, maps, architectural plans and buildings.

As well as being available for the four types of works, copyright can also cover four types of subject matter which are not works. These are: sound recordings, cinematograph films, television and sound broadcasts, and published editions of works.

 

Sound recording copyright covers the actual sounds in the recording, and this is additional to the copyright in any musical or literary work embodied in the sound recording. Thus there will be at least two separate copyrights in most sound recordings.

Cinematograph film copyright covers the visual images and sounds in a movie, and this is additional to the copyright in any literary, dramatic or musical work embodied in the movie. Thus there will be at least two separate copyrights in most movies.

Broadcast copyright covers the actual broadcasts made by television and radio broadcasters, and is additional to any other copyrights in the material broadcast.

Published edition copyright covers the typographical arrangements and layouts of printed publications, and is additional to any other copyrights in the material printed.