BizTerm Definition
original work of authorship
Full Definition

Under U.S. copyright laws, any type of expression independently conceived by its creator. As long as a particular expression has been independently created, it need not be original in the sense of "new." For example, if Thamas Dowel never heard of or read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey, but somehow managed to write a play very similar to it, Dowel's play would qualify as original, and would be protected by copyright law. Many creations qualify as works of authorship, including sheet music, movies, records, tape recordings, video disk productions, computer software, laser disk games, cartoons, designs, magazines, poems and books. The few categories that don't qualify include titles of books, movies and songs; short phrases and slogans; printed forms; compilations of facts; and works consisting entirely of information that is public domain property--for example, lists and tables taken from public documents. Items in these categories are considered too short or too lacking in originality to qualify for copyright protection.

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