question.jpgIn Copyrights

What qualifies as a motion picture or audiovisual work?

The Copyright Act defines an audiovisual work as being a series of related images which are capable of being shown by some device, such as a projector, along with any sounds which accompany the visual portion of the work. The nature of the material object embodying the work (film, tape, etc.) does not matter. A motion picture is defined as a specific type of audiovisual work wherein the images, when displayed, give the impression of motion. The audiovisual works category obviously includes movies, but it is relatively broader than that, including slide shows, video games, etc.

To qualify as a motion picture or audiovisual work, the work must have a visual component, but need not have an audio component (so a silent movie qualifies, but a movie soundtrack does not). In addition, the work must be something which is shown by a machine or device, so theater pieces (plays, musicals, etc.) do not qualify.