Ever since May 31, 1790, the symbol © has signified authorship and/or ownership of intellectual property, making today
NATIONAL COPYRIGHT ACT DAY!
It was President George Washington who signed the Copyright Act of 1790 into law.
A copyright protects authors, or the commissioners of written works; from poems, plays, novels, songs, films to just about any form of artistic or commercial expression that can be printed or recorded.
They are issued by The Library of Congress and last for the lifetime of the copyright owner plus 70 years, so that an artist’s heirs might profit from their work.
After 70 years the work becomes part of the Public Domain, so people like Mark Twain, Emily Bronte, Steven Foster and Enrico Caruso don’t earn any royalties for their still-popular works, but they’re not losing any sleep over it.
• Suggested Activities: Giving credit where credit is due, not pirating anything today.