Copyright 101 Quiz Answers

There were only a couple of takers on the last game but the results were interesting. Both participants did very well. PT regular and all-around good guy Jeremy Steele met the requirements to win the game, getting both seven correct answers and the bonus. However, kudos also has to go to the lovely and talentedAmita who got 9 correct answers, though she didn’t didn’t get the bonus.

The one question that tripped everyone up was the second. According to U.S. Copyright Law, posting to the Web does not constitute publication. This has more to do with a very narrow definition of “publication” according to copyright law. Most likely, it would be considered a “public display” since it can be viewed by anyone but copies are not available for sale or lease unless additional steps are taken.

Thank you to both Jeremy and Amita for playing! It was great fun and I hope you enjoyed it. All of the correct answers are below the fold as well as the sources used.


1 ) What are five of the exclusive rights that come with copyright protection (Hint: There are at least six)?

– To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
– To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
– To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
– To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
– To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
– In the case of sound recordings*, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

2 ) Does posting a work to the Web constitute publication, yes or no?

No. This one was tricky but under current law putting a work on the Web constitutes public display. Publication is defined as the following “‘Publication’ is the distribution of copies or phonorecords of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending.”

See the notes below for references.

3 ) What are three benefits of registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office (Hint: There are at least five)?

– Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.
– Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin.
– If made before or within 5 years of publication, registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.
– If registration is made within 3 months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.
– Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U. S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies.

4 ) How long is the copyright term for works of joint authorship?

Live plus seventy for the longest surviving author.

5 ) What is the copyright term for an anonymous work?

95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

6 ) What are the four factors of fair use?

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

7 ) What copyright protection does works created by the Federal government have?

None. Works created by the government are in the public domain. As pointed out by Amita, works comissioned by the government may have copyright protection depending on the nature of the work and the circumstances it was created.

8 ) Who can file a DMCA notice (Hint: There are two)?

Either the copyright holder or an agent authorized to act upon their behalf.

9 ) What is the maximum amount of damages the courts can award per work for willful infringement?

Up to $150,000 per work.

10 ) What is the name of the form used to register a textual work with the U.S. Copyright Office (Hint: Will accept both versions)?

For textual works, one would either use Form TX or Short Form TX depending on the nature of the work.

Bonus: Which one of these books is NOT in the public domain: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Treasure Island, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Alice in Wonderland and War of the Worlds

The Lion the With and the Wardrobe is still protected. C.S. Lewis died in 1963 and his work will be protected for approximately another 25 years.


The vast majority of these questions came straight from the Copyright Basics Page at the USCO Web site. Also used was the USCO’s Fair Use page and Project Gutenberg was used to help with the bonus question along with the recent WIPO Activity Book.

That should cover all eleven questions. If I forgot a source or one of the answers isn’t explained in these pages, let me know!

Want to Reuse or Republish this Content?

If you want to feature this article in your site, classroom or elsewhere, just let us know! We usually grant permission within 24 hours.

Click Here to Get Permission for Free