Q: What are Alabama state laws on copyright infringement?
A: Copyright law is governed by federal law, the Copyright Act of 1976. It is not controlled by state law, although sometimes the rights of the owner can be enforced in state court. A person who creates a work, let's say a book or a play, owns the rights to that work. Others are prohibited from copying or performing that work without the consent of the author. There are some exceptions to this, of course. The owner's rights only last for a limited period of time. The length of the copyright varies, although all works that were created before 1923 are now in the public domain, and not subject to copyright. There is a very good website prepared by a law firm that gives information about copyrights: http://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/. If you have a specific question, you should contact a lawyer.
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