Copyright laws are complicated, and their application varies from case to case. However, it is important for people in New York to understand the basic tenants of copyright law in order to avoid unintentional infringement. According to Business Dictionary, copyright is a protection granted to the creator of an original work which prohibits any other person from recreating or using that work publicly without the author's permission. This protection applies to music, written communication, dance, movies, art and similar works. One of the few cases in which a work does not belong to the author is in an employment setting. If an employ creates something for a job, that work is generally considered the property of the company for which it was generated.
The United States Copyright Office explains that copyright law applies to original works as soon as the author creates them in a tangible form. In other words, enforcement of copyright infringement laws is not dependent on registration with the Copyright Office. Once an original work is recorded, the author has exclusive rights to it, and violators may face prosecution for copying it. However, it does not apply to works that were simply communicated verbally and not recorded or transferred to some sort of medium.
Infringement may occur in a variety of forms, including reproducing, copying or performing someone else's work. Using another person's material to create a continuation or a sequel to it is also a violation. Since copyright laws apply to movies as well, even individual frames may not be reproduced without permission. Other violations include public display or distribution of someone else's original creation.