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Assignment of Copyright

The transfer of ownership of a copyright from one party to another, which must be in writing to be effective.

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Audio Home Recording Act

That portion of the Copyright Act (1001-1010) that provides for royalties to be paid to songwriters, music publishers, recording companies and recording artists for the importation or manufacture of digital audio recording devices (e.g., digital tape players) or media (e.g., CDs and tapes).

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Automatic Renewal

Works originally copyrighted between 1964 and 1977 are granted an automatic renewal term (See EXTENDED RENEWAL TERM) by the Copyright Act, without the necessity of the writer having to file a renewal registration form in order to preserve copyright protection, as was the case for earlier copyrights. However, filing a Form RE (along with payment of the appropriate fee) for automatically renewed works is recommended in order to obtain certain statutory benefits

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The exclusive right, granted by law for a stated period, usually until 70 years after the death of the surviving author of the work, to make, dispose of, and otherwise control copies of literary, musical, dramatic, pictorial and other copyrightable works. The exclusive right is set forth in the 1976 Copyright Act Section 106.

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Copyright Deposit Registration

To register a musical work under the 1976 Copyright Act:

1. Send a request for an application to the Copyright Office, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, S E., Washington, D.C. 20559-6000 or download the application from the Copyright Office website at To order an application by telephone, call (202) 707-9100.

2. When an application is completed, send it back to the Copyright Office with:
a) one copy of manuscript, lead sheet or tape if unpublished or
b) two copies of manuscript (sheet music) or tape if published and
c) the appropriate registration fee, by money order, bank draft or check, made payable to Register of Copyrights.

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Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

That portion of the Copyright Act that implements two international treaties, the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. The DMCA also creates limits of the liability for copyright infringement of Internet service providers under certain conditions, as well as addresses other matters.

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Exclusive Rights

The right of a copyright owner to exclusively authorize recording, performance, dramatization or other uses of his works, as set forth in the Copyright Act.

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Extended Renewal Term

The term of copyright for works registered under the 1909 Copyright Act was extended, under the 1976 Copyright Act and subsequent amendments, so that copyrights, if renewed, will be protected for 95 years—an additional 39 years from the time of the original copyright. Under the prior copyright law of 1909, the term of copyright was two 28-year terms, or a total of 56 years.

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A violation of the exclusive rights granted by the copyright law to a copyright owner.

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Notice of Copyright

When a work is published (publicly distributed), a notice of copyright should be placed on all copies. Its use is optional, however, and a work that does not carry a copyright notice does not lose any protection. If a notice is used, it should contain three elements: 1. , or the word “Copyright,” or the abbreviation “Copr.” 2. The year of first publication. 3. The name of the copyright owner.

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