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Contrary to a patent, copyright protects not the idea, but the expression of the idea. This may be a writing, a painting or architectural structure, or it could be drawings of any item, including blueprints. Copyright also protects music, rules of a game (such as Monopoly), and song scores.

If someone takes the idea out of your content, changes the text or image, this does not count as copyright infringement because copyright does not protect the idea.

Software can also be protected by copyright, and all the above-mentioned restrictions apply. Thus, if someone changes an element of your copyrighted software, they will get off scot-free.

The life of a copyright is the life of the creator plus 50 years (in most countries). In countries who are members of the Bern Convention (over 80 countries) it is sufficient to register only in one country, and all other counties of the Convention will be covered.

In general, it is not actually necessary to registered if you put a "" beside your creation. However, if you want to enforce your right after someone infringes on your creation, it is highly recommended to register it.

Even though the U.S. is a member of the Bern Convention, it is advisable to register in the U.S. independently to ensure that your right in the U.S. is properly protected.

Read our Tips for Copyright for some interesting information.

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