Getting the Words Correct. Copyright vs. Copywrite
by Sue Basko
This is the first of a four-part series about copyright on songs.
Copyright -- Getting the Words Correct. Copyright vs. Copywrite.
People sometimes email me saying they want to get their songs "copywritten." This is the misuse of a word, or a non-word, in this case. What they mean to say is that they want to REGISTER COPYRIGHT ON THE SONGS. This series of 4 lessons will be basically about that -- registering copyright on songs -- with lots of helpful law, hints, and ideas along the way.
A "copywriter" is a person who writes the words for advertisements. Those words are often called "copy." A copywriter is a person that writes copy.
Nouns and Verbs, a little review. Copywriter is a noun. A noun is a word that names a person, place or thing. A copywriter is the person who writes words for ads. Copywriting is also a noun. Copywriting is the copy (words) that have been written for an ad.
Copywrite is not a word. There is no verb form of the word copywriter. Copywritten is not a word. You would use: write copy, writes copy, has written copy, wrote copy.
COPYRIGHT is what we are talking about here. A copyright is a legal protection that gives the owner of the copyright the right to copy the material and makes it usually a civil violation or a crime for others to copy the material, unless they have permission, a license, or are making fair use of the material.
Later on this blog, I will address license and fair use. If you want to be automatically notified of new blog posts, join Facebook and click the "like" on this page in the sidebar. This will send each new blog link to your facebook News Feed.
For the first lesson, though, the main thing to remember is this:
COPYRIGHT = the right to copy.
Usage Example: Mary has written copy for several major ad campaigns for the Quirko's Copy Shop. She is a copywriter. Mary's work writing on this project was a work for hire. Therefore, the copyright on the copy she has written is owned by the copy shop. Mary cannot copy her own copy or she would be violating copyright law. The copy shop, however, has comped her some copies of her portfolio, which includes the copyrighted ad copy. It is hard to say if this is a fair use, but no one has stopped her yet.
Hahahah -- Well, if I have not totally confused you .. move on to Lesson Two!
Take care, and hope to see you at the second lesson! - Sue
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