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Attributes of Ownership

Copyright affords an author of an original work five exclusive rights: (1) to reproduce or copy the work; (2) to prepare new works that derive from the copyrighted work; (3) to distribute the work to the public by sale or other arrangement; (4) to perform the work publicly; and (5) to display the work publicly. The last three rights are infringed only when violated publicly, that is, before a “substantial number of persons” outside family and friends (see 17 U.S.C. § 101). The first two rights are infringed whether violated in public or in private. In general, copyright of popular works can be extremely lucrative for the owner, since it includes the right to any profits from dramatizations, abridgements, and translations. It also includes the right to sell, license, or transfer one or more of the exclusive rights afforded by copyright law.

Inside Attributes of Ownership