We've mentioned before that copyright vests in the content creator as soon as a new work is placed in a fixed format (whether print, online, or recorded; it really doesn't matter).
Copyright holders, when they feel that their work has been infringed, can sue for damages (which may be awarded as fines or even jail time), but this is only enforceable in the courts when the copyright holder has registered their work with the Copyright Office.
We are not saying that there is a future out there where anyone could be sued for infringement because they are singing a tune that has been popular for more than 100 years, but these issues point out that the proper licensing of copyrighted material is something everyone should be concerned with. As more and more websites and electronic media are created and delivered to people at lightning-fast speed each day, the probability that copyrighted material is shared improperly becomes more of a possibility. This in turn makes it more difficult for rightsholders to protect their work.
It is important for everyone--not simply authors, artists and publishers--to understand copyright and how intellectual property can be properly shared. This is where GPC comes in. Let us help you learn more!