An often-overlooked component of a company’s intellectual property portfolio is the company Web site. This is especially true in the fast-paced world of technology firms, whose primary emphasis is usually core technology in the form of patents or trade secrets. The Web site, as a matter of course, is the most innocuous of assets, but it’s an asset nonetheless. The job of the general counsel’s office is to protect it.

The Copyright Act of 1976 is the primary component of federal copyright law and protects a wide variety of works, from sound recordings and films to architecture and novels. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to protect such works; the Constitution reserves the ability to “promote the useful arts” solely to the federal government.

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