Created works performed by an individual or individuals are copyrighted. These are novels, articles, poems, essays, school books, art books, songs, music, and all works created by hand, typewritten, by pen or pencil on paper, or spoken into a recorder. Performances such as dance routines that are new creations, paintings, sculpture, collages and all other works of art are likewise covered by copyright protection, bit these may need proof and actual copyright documents may be necessary. Architectural creations such as blueprints, maps and other genuine works of art are also protected by copyright laws.
The idea of copyright protection came about to protect authors and creators of original works from theft. Architectural works, audiovisual works, Berne Convention, the best edition, collective works, compilation, computer programs, derivative works, are definitive terms used by copyright intelligentsia to define what can and what cannot be copyrighted.
* Architectural works are the original design, as conceived by the architect, and involves elements of space and form as they relate to each other, but are limited in that any individual building or specific designed area designated for a particular use cannot be copyrighted.
*Audiovisual works are works that can be seen and heard such as artwork, written works, and music. These include creations designed to be used by machines: video cameras, electronic viewers, projectors, and others that takes into use sight and sound. A definitive statement would be ‘all that is seen and heard’ that is created by an artist.
*The Berne Convention is the documentation that was signed at Berne Switzerland, September 9, 1886, making copyright protection possible. Until it was signed into law, every creator had to fend for themselves, and thievery of ideas and intellectual property was rampant. It was not, however, condoned, and those caught stealing from others were subject to lose their reputations as genuine artists or writers.
* Collective and compiled works are descriptive copyright terminology that seeks to effectively describe what can and what cannot be copyrighted. Collective works relate to publications such as magazines and newsletters where others are involved in the overall output of the copyrighted material. Compiled works are those collected works assembles into a bunch, a group, or what else, a compilation.
Compilation is a broader term than collective works and, in fact, includes collective works. Examples of compilations are books that contain chapters by individual authors, poems by various poets, and works where other with their individual copyrighted works are gathered together.
* Other terminology relating to copyright protection laws showing what can and what cannot be copyrighted, are computer programing and copies. These are all relative terms that are not as exact as the above descriptions but are included and described, so that should it become necessary to prove who owns what, and who is infringing on these rights, it can be proved in a court of law.
Finally, copyright protection is here to stay. And while it hard to prove, in many cases, where an infringement has taken place, and actually few cases ever make it court, those that do make such a loud noise, others are warned not to use what clearly belongs to others, not without getting permission. Of course, we all are privileged to our own ideas and these belong to whomever makes the most of them. Ideas are not copyrighted.
Plagiarism means to copy exactly, word by word, or to copy a painting and try to pass it off as an original – a common form of art theft that is often uncovered – or to somehow use the works of others illegally. It is certainly all right to read what others have written and to use it to prove a point we are trying to make, but even when paraphrasing – putting the idea into our own words, or when quoting a sentence or two, we should credit the real author. This is called fair use and is explained further in the laws regarding what is the legal way to use the works of others.
Painters who are impressed by the style of a painter and who want to try to paint as the master painter did, may do so as long as no exact copy is made, and the copied work is not passed off as being a genuine work of art done by a certain artist. The labeling will show that it is a copy.
Art fraud is not what copyrighting is all about and is dealt with harshly under fraud, but broadly speaking, it is in the same category. Fraud is also connected with plagiarism and what makes copyright laws necessary. Art is art and has to do with originality and who first wrote, performed, sculpted, or brought an object or a written thought process, into being.