The Writer's Legal Companion

By Brad Bunnin; Peter Beren | Go to book overview

7
WHAT IS COPYRIGHT?

THE CONSTITUTIONAL FOUNDATION

Our most basic law recognizes that a writer's work product deserves legal protection. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the United States Constitution gives Congress the power "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts," by securing to authors and inventors for a limited time the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. If you analyze these few words, you'll find several concepts still crucial to you today.

To begin with, they establish that the power to regulate copyrights rests with Congress. Under other legal doctrines derived from the Constitution's Supremacy Clause, any copyright law enacted by Congress preempts the states from enacting competing copyright laws of their own. Since January 1, 1978, when the Copyright Act of 1976 took effect, we have in fact enjoyed one national copyright law. Before that, as we'll see, two sets of copyright laws existed: one federal and one the collection of state copyright laws. Until 1978 the federal government hadn't preempted the entire field.

In addition, it's important to note that while the Copyright Clause of the Constitution protects you, as an author, it does so only incidentally. The underlying purpose of the clause is "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts," not the wealth or fame of writers. Thus you are the beneficiary of laws designed for the common good, not specifically to make you rich.

-143-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Writer's Legal Companion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Publishing Contract 5
  • Introduction: About Contracts and Intimidation 5
  • In Conclusion: A Little General Advice 68
  • 2 - Publishing in Magazines 69
  • Introduction 69
  • 3 - Collaboration 85
  • Introduction 85
  • 4 - The Legal Relationship Between Writer and Agent 103
  • Introduction 103
  • 5 - Watch Your Words: The Confusing Law of Defamation 115
  • Introduction 115
  • 6 - The Right to Be Left Alone: Protecting Privacy and Publicity 133
  • Introduction 133
  • 7 - What is Copyright? 143
  • 8 - Copyright Formalities 165
  • Introduction 165
  • 9 - How to Protect Your Copyright 195
  • Introduction 195
  • 10 - Tax and the Freelance Writer 201
  • Conclusion 209
  • 11 - Legal Resources for the Writer 211
  • Introduction 211
  • 12 - The Author and the Business of Publishing 225
  • Introduction 225
  • Conclusion 266
  • 13 - New Information Technologies and the Author 269
  • Introduction 269
  • Appendix a Resource Directory 283
  • Appendix B a Glossary of Publishing Terms 291
  • Appendix C Publishing Agreements 299
  • Appendix D Copyright Material 319
  • Appendix E Permissions Guidelines 331
  • Appendix F Author's Questionnaire 339
  • Index 345
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 354

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.