Test Your Copyright Knowledge

Copyright law quizTest your copyright knowledge: General Copyright Principles

The purpose of this quiz is to test your knowledge on general copyright law principles. Whether you work in a library or school or business or government agency, this is a good test for you on basic copyright law principles. And whether you create, publish, share or consume copyright-protected materials, this quiz will help you determine where you need to learn more about copyright law principles. Answers are below.

True or False?

T F 1. Copyright law protects ideas.

T F 2. Copyright law protects all titles of books and movies.

T F 3. Content on blogs and websites are in the public domain.

T F 4. You need permission to summarize the ideas in a newspaper article.

T F 5. Copyright is automatic upon the creation and fixation of a work.

T F 6. Copyright law is part of a larger area of law called intellectual property.

T F 7. If there is no  symbol on a work, then it is not protected by copyright.

T F 8. Copyright registration is not mandatory for securing copyright in a work.

T F 9. All permissions to use a copyright-protected work must be in writing.

T F 10. When you purchase a painting, you own the physical painting however you do not own the copyright in the painting.


Answers: 1F, 2F, 3F, 4F, 5T, 6T, 7F, 8T, 9F, 10T

Try our other quizzes:

International Copyright Principles

Copyright Law Myths and Facts

Canadian Copyright Law

To view educational opportunities on copyright, click here.


  1. Lesley says:

    Generally, any uses outside a domestic setting require permission — when it comes to showing a film.

  2. Copyrightlaws.com says:

    Hi Anonymous, neither the US or Canadian Copyright Act protect titles of works (as a general rule.) That is because a title or phrase or slogan (a small one) is relatively speaking too insubstantial to be protected.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hello Leslie, Why aren’t titles protected? Is it because the title is an element the citation? Thanks.

  4. Copyrightlaws.com says:

    A quote you may enjoy: “A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it is written on.” Sam Goldwyn, Hollywood film producer

  5. Copyrightlaws.com says:

    Anonymous, course syllabi are below in archived postings….go to the right and scroll down and you’ll find them.

  6. Copyrightlaws.com says:

    Re #9 and written permissions — yes, it’s always a good idea as it’s proof that you have permission. However, for permissions and licenses, writing is generally not mandatory. It is mandatory for assignments of rights, ie, a transfer of ownership. For practical reasons, however get permission in writing whenever possible.

  7. Library Dude says:

    Like some others, I was tripped up by #9 (written permission). The correct answer is consistent with other areas of law (e.g. contracts), in which a written document is not required to bind parties to an agreement. Practically speaking, however, it’s always good to get it in writing in case it comes back to bite you and you end up needing to present evidence to a court of law or other legal panel.

  8. Anonymous says:

    where are the course syllabi on this blog?

  9. Jess says:

    I’m totally shocked that I got all but #9 correct! So, about that. Do you mean to say that verbal permission to use copyright work is acceptable? (As an editor, I typically accept written permission — using our company permission form — or occasionally email permission if it includes the correct language.)

  10. SJA says:

    I can’t imagine accepting permission that isn’t in writing. It feels like opening yourself up for endless he said/she said in the future.

  11. flyfishingbooks says:

    On question 10. Initially I answered this with a F? I was not thinking of an original piece of art, but the many lithographic copies or signed prints. Then when I thought about an original work of art, of course it bacame a T.

    Great quiz! I must have learned something from the Click U course to get all of the answers correct!

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