Chapter 3. Products of the Mind - California Civil Code Section 980

980.  (a) (1) The author of any original work of authorship that is
not fixed in any tangible medium of expression has an exclusive
ownership in the representation or expression thereof as against all
persons except one who orginally and independently creates the same
or similar work. A work shall be considered not fixed when it is not
embodied in a tangible medium of expression or when its embodiment in
a tangible medium of expression is not sufficiently permanent or
stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise
communicated for a period of more than transitory duration, either
directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
   (2) The author of an original work of authorship consisting of a
sound recording initially fixed prior to February 15, 1972, has an
exclusive ownership therein until February 15, 2047, as against all
persons except one who independently makes or duplicates another
sound recording that does not directly or indirectly recapture the
actual sounds fixed in such prior sound recording, but consists
entirely of an independent fixation of other sounds, even though such
sounds imitate or simulate the sounds contained in the prior sound
   (b) The inventor or proprietor of any invention or design, with or
without delineation, or other graphical representation, has an
exclusive ownership therein, and in the representation or expression
thereof, which continues so long as the invention or design and the
representations or expressions thereof made by him remain in his

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Last modified: February 16, 2015