What Can Be Copyrighted?4:23 with Chris Zabriskie
Can you copyright all of a website, or just parts of it? How about a company name or logo? And what about fonts? We'll take a quick tour of what can and cannot be copyrighted.
[male narrator[ So what can you copyright? 0:00 Can you copyright a whole website or just the code of it? 0:02 Can you copyright a shirt, a tree? 0:05 Hey, Fred. 0:09 [Fred] Yeah. 0:10 [male narrator] I just copyrighted you. 0:11 I didn't just copyright Fred. 0:13 You can't copyright a person. 0:15 So what can you copyright? 0:16 Websites, the code, the design, and the content. 0:18 Mobile apps, iPhone apps, Android apps, you name it. 0:23 Videos and movies, songs, recordings of songs—those are 2 different things. 0:26 Any kind of original text, including books, articles, website and advertising copy, and song lyrics. 0:34 Paintings, sculptures, photographs. 0:42 Drawings, video games, fonts—sort of, we'll come back to that in a second. 0:47 Plugins. 0:54 Frameworks, software, choreography, dance routines if you've recorded it. 0:55 Buildings, actual buildings. 1:02 Lots of stuff—creative stuff. 1:05 Everytime you snap a photo on your smartphone, 1:08 that's beautiful, 1:11 it's copyright you, this one's copyright me. 1:13 Just building a website incorporates all sorts of those things. 1:16 From the code and design to photography, the actual text on the website, 1:19 a lot of the frameworks and software you use to create and to host it. 1:24 All sorts of stuff. 1:28 Are you starting to see why copyright's important? 1:29 It's not just for the things you make, 1:32 but also understanding how to work with the copyrighted materials of others. 1:34 We'll be covering that in more detail in the next stage. 1:38 So wait, what can't be copyrighted? 1:41 Fred cannot be copyrighted. 1:44 What else? 1:47 Anything not fixed in a tangible form of expression. 1:48 So what does that mean? 1:52 Basically, it means ideas. 1:54 Like we discussed already, you can't just say that you thought of something first. 1:56 So it's not enough to have a great idea for an app. 2:00 You actually have to make it, you have to put it into that tangible form of expression. 2:03 Titles and slogans. 2:08 You can't copyright the title of a movie, of a book, an app, 2:11 a website, a business, or a song. 2:15 Fonts. 2:17 I know, I said you could copyright fonts. 2:20 But you sort of can't. 2:22 But you totally can. 2:24 It's complicated. 2:26 Basically, when we're talking about fonts, 2:28 we're really talking about 2 different things. 2:30 A typeface is the design of the actual letters and numbers. 2:33 A font is really a piece of software that tells your computer to display a typeface. 2:38 So the design of the letters, the shape of them, the typface is not covered by copyright law. 2:43 But you can copyright software. 2:49 And a font, as a piece of software, is covered by copyright. 2:52 Basically, you should always assume when working with a font on the web, 2:57 that the font is copyrighted. 3:01 We'll talk a little bit more about fonts when we get to licensing later on. 3:03 Familiar symbols, that includes numbers and the alphabet. 3:07 Can you imagine if the alphabet was copyrighted and everybody had to pay to use it? 3:12 The person who owned the copyright would be rich, but that wouldn't work out so well for the rest of us. 3:16 Works created by the United States government. 3:20 That includes laws, speaches given by the President, reports, that sort of thing. 3:24 Facts. 3:29 I know that's sort of weird, but any sort of common knowledge. 3:31 You can't copyright the fact taht the sun comes up in the morning and sets in the evening, I'm sorry. 3:36 Fashion. 3:41 Actual clothes, believe it or not, are not copyrightable. 3:43 The design printed on them might be copyrighted, 3:47 but fashion designs aren't. 3:50 Still, copying some else's runway design is a major fashion faux pas. 3:52 Ingredients and recipes. 3:57 Though if you make a cook book, you can copyright the photos, the descriptions, and other text. 4:00 But the recipe itself is not copyrightable. 4:05 Blank media. 4:09 Nothing on it—not copyrightable. 4:11 And domain names. 4:14 So you got all that? 4:17 You see the difference? 4:18 Take a quiz and prove it to me. 4:21
You need to sign up for Treehouse in order to download course files.Sign up