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Copyrights FAQs

Is there anything that cannot be protected by copyright?

Several categories of material are generally not eligible for federal copyright protection. These include, among others:
  • Works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression. For example, choreographic works that have not been notated or recorded or improvisational speeches or performances that have not been written or recorded
  • Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans (see trademarks), familiar symbols or designs, variations on typographic ornamentation, lettering or coloring, listings of ingredients or contents with no additional creative elements
  • Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, devices and functional objects. Descriptions, explanations and illustrations of these things are protected by copyright
  • Works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship. For example, standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers and lists or tables taken from public documents or other common sources