Here is Michael Moore sharing his opinion about sharing art - his
movies, in particular, and art, in general.
This won't necessarily help you understand the laws, but I believe it's good
to look at others' opinions.
And, just for fun, here is a link to the Copyright Office Registration, Recordation, and Other Services. In other words, how much will a copyright cost and what are the various costs associated with getting a legal copyright?
Over at Writers Write, they have Basic Copyright Concepts For Writers from attorney Claire E. White. The sections of her summary are:
- What Copyright Law Covers
- How Do You Get Copyright Protection for Your Work?
- Registering a Copyright
- Can Foreigners Copyright Their Work in the U.S.?
- How Long Does the Copyright Last?
- Copyright Infringement
- Exceptions to the Infringement Rules
Creative Commons is another option for sharing digital creative ventures. I think of it as the Shareware or OpenSource for creativity sharing. It's worth taking a look at their guidelines and seeing how their process works.
Their mission statement: "Creative Commons helps you share your knowledge and creativity with the world. Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation."
What other resources do you like to refer to when questions of copyright come up?