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Visual Anthropology (Spring 2012): Intellectual Property and Copyright

This is a research guide for the course Visual Anthropology (Spring 2012). Professor Andrew Brooks

Intellectual Property and Copyright


Intellectual Property and Copyright

What is intellectual property? 

Definition from the World Intellectual Property Organization  (WIPO)

Copyright basics

  • It is based on the principle of respecting the copyright owner.  
  • Just because you own a copy of the book, CD, poster, art work, or film doesn't meam you have the righ to make copies of the material. The purchase of the item only means that you own a personal copy. Making reproductions to sell most likely is not within your rights. 
What works are protected? 
Most original works are protected by copyright. The U.S. Copyright law places copyrighable works in the following categories: 
  • Literary works
  • Musical works, including any accompanying words
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works
  • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • Sound recordings
  • Architectural works

You should view these categories broadly. For example, computer programs and most compilations may be categorized and registered as literary works; maps and architectural plans may be categorized and registered as pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.


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