The basics of Copyright law are simple. Armed with some simple principles, you can understand just what is covered and what isn't, and hopefully save yourself potential trouble and money. It’s great for any songwriter or any other art creator to know their rights on copyrights or at least to have a trusted lawyer or publishing company to protect their rights for them.
It doesn't need the symbol © to be copyrighted. Understand that nearly everything on the Internet, and everywhere else, is copyrighted, by default. "I found it on the Internet" is not a defense against copyright infringement; works on the Internet are as copyrightable as any other kind of work. Nor is "it didn't say it was copyrighted." In nearly all jurisdictions, it is not necessary for a work to have an explicit copyright notice for it to be copyrighted. It is also not necessary for copyright in a work to be registered; this simply makes it easier to be compensated in court. Without an explicit dedication to the public domain, assume that it is still under copyright.
Understand that one does not get a copyright without some creativity. If you ever wonder whether a certain action would infringe on the copyright of someone else, the question to ask is: is this a creative work on my count, or am I simply drawing from the creativity of someone else? Lunches, as any economist would tell you, are not free. Some examples: a new copyright over anything. You cannot scan a photograph from, say, a magazine and then put it on the Internet; the copyright would still reside with the author of the work. The flip-side of this is that scanning a work which is in the public domain would not, in many jurisdictions, give you the copyright over the resulting scan. This does not generate a new copyright. This would be a derivative work of the video or computer program. For example, a plain text logo in a generic font. Neither are simple geometric shapes. But don't rely on this unless you are certain.
Understand what "fair use" is, and what it isn't. Called "fair dealing" in many jurisdictions, fair use is simply a guarantee that copyright laws do not infringe freedom of speech and make critical commentary impossible. It permits, for example, limited quoting of copyrighted material. In some jurisdictions, it would allow creating a copy for personal use (such as a backup). It is not a blank check granting you a right to do anything at all and call it "fair use." Fair use is an extremely complex body of case law; it is often very difficult for non-lawyers to tell in advance whether or not a certain use will be considered fair use in court. If in doubt, seek permission first.
Understand the law about derivative works as pertains to fiction. It was said above that "ideas cannot be copyrighted." This is not entirely true; fictional characters, story-lines, and settings can be copyrighted. This means that fan-fiction, drawings of characters from copyrighted works, and so on are all technically copyright infringements. Sometimes copyright holders turn a blind eye to this sort of thing, but unless it has been explicitly authorized, don't count on this being the case.
Hangi Tavakoli is our in-house established and professional music producer with more than 14 years of experience in music production, mix and mastering, recording engineering, live sound designing/engineering, lyrics writing and music arrangement. He has produced more than 800 and written more than 2000 published songs to-date, including some major hits in international scale.Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.