Copyright Laws On The Internet: 5 Things You Should Know

5 min read
Updated: Dec 27, 2021


Since the 1790s, the Copyright Law has been in the market. However, people are still not sure what this law means and how you can use it to protect your creation.

Even the most recent copyright law went into action just 40 years ago. It makes you wonder that people must understand what this law precisely means and what sections it covers.

Even the pirate bay was accused of several copyright infringement instances. Check this website to know more about them.

Anyways, coming back to the topic, we think it’s time you figure out what the copyright law is and what are the things you didn’t know about this law.

Things You Did Not Know About Copyright Laws

The Copyright Law grants monopoly protection to people for their original work. Therefore, if you come across material on the internet that is copyright protected, you can’t use it without the owner’s permission. Failure to do so will result in significant financial consequences, and you may even end up in jail.

Let’s find the things you did not know about copyright laws:

1: Termination Rights

  • Are you a creator who has passed the rights of your original creation to someone else?
  • Do you regret this decision?

If your answer is YES, you’ll be glad to know that the copyright laws protect you under termination rights. The Copyright Act Section 203 states that agreements contracted on or after 1st January 1978 make owners liable to terminate the copyright if they want.

The original creator can terminate the rights, or his successors can also do that. They don’t need to take permission from the person to whom the ownership was transferred.

However, you can only exercise this right once the agreement has been completed for 35 years. On top of that, you only get 5 years to imply this right, and if the deal is in place for 40 years, you may not terminate the rights anymore.

2: Creative Works Get Automatic Protection

When you create an original work, it automatically subsists itself under the U.S. Copyright Act. It means you don’t have to register a copyright claim if the work you created is fixated on a tangible expression medium.

We bet you did not know this, right? While there are ample benefits to applying for a copyright claim, and so we highly recommend it, you won’t suffer any loss if you forget to do that.

Once your creative work is published in your name, you become the automatic owner of it. Even if you don’t put a copyright notice on it, nobody can steal it from you.

3: Sound Recordings Have No Analog Performance Right

The U.S. Copyright Law vests most people with a public performance right, thus empowering them to control how their work will reach the public. Musical works, literary works, artistic works, pantomimes, dramatic works, choreographic works-all are listed in it.

The only exception the law makes is regarding sound recordings. It means every time a song is broadcasted on a TV station or even on stage, the music composer, songwriter, and publisher are compensated for it. However, the singer does not get any compensation.

Although Congress rectified this mistake in 1996, the Copyright Law continues exempting sound recordings from analog rights.

4: The U.S. Copyright Law Treats Creators From Other Countries Better

Have you heard of the International Copyright Treaty called the Berne Convention?

Like many other countries, even the United States is also a part of it. The Berne Convention dictates that U.S. nationals have to register their creative work under the Copyright Law before they sue someone for a copyright infringement action. However, no such action is mandatory for foreign nationals.

It means if foreign national wants to bring a copyright infringement case in the U.S. courts without registering the work under Copyright Law, he can. It shows stark impartiality, but the government does not do anything about it.

5: Copyright Notice Is A Myth

Long gone those days when a content creator had to apply for an overnight copyright notice to imply copyright protection on the work. If the work was published between1st  January 1978 and 28th February 1989, the copyright owner could take some measures to fix this issue.

Even the foreign nationals got better treatment in this context. This is because they did not have such a higher chance of losing copyright protection if they forgot to apply for the notice.

However, since 1989, Congress passed a new law that made copyright notice an option. If you still apply for a notice first, you will get certain benefits, but if you don’t lose your copyright protection, you don’t opt for it.

Closing Thoughts

Are you still with us? We have already mentioned the possible things you may not have known about copyright laws. Just read the list, and find out how many of these you were familiar with. For further assistance, you can ping us in the comment section.


Sophia Rodreguaze


Sophia is the contributing editor at She writes about anything and everything related to technology.

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