Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Illinois

Copyright Infringement

Are newspapers covered under copyright law?

What about foreign newspapers?

If so, does that include the entire content of the newspaper, including personals and classifieds?

What should be done to avoid copyright infringement issues with newspapers?

Asked on 5/18/99, 10:06 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Bruce Burdick Burdick Law Firm

Re: Copyright Infringement

Yes. Newspapers are covered under copyright law and that applies to foreign papers. A copyright automatically applies on creation of original written material. Registration is needed to gain federal court jurisdiction of copyright issues. While copyright probably applies to personals and classifieds, to the extent they are original, the damages for infringement are so minimal when someone copies that enforcement costs would exceed the damages so enforcement is impractical. The usual way to avoid copyright infringement issues with newspapers is to call them and ask for permission to reproduce their copy. Most newspapers are happy to allow it provided they are given due credit.

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Answered on 5/27/99, 11:19 am

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