Get Credit For Your Work

Whether you know it or not, as soon as you “put it in writing” a creative work is protected by copyright law. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the world will know it’s your work or give you credit when credit is due. There are steps you can take to strengthen the protection the law affords, and we can assist you with registering a copyright, properly using a copyright notice, or negotiating a license, and undertake litigation on your behalf if necessary.

What Is a Copyright?

A copyright is intended to promote creativity by protecting original works of literary, artistic, or graphic expressions, such as:

  • Books
  • Paintings
  • Photographs
  • Music/Records
  • Plays/Movies
  • Software
  • Technical Drawings
  • Blueprints/Architectural Works

A copyright protects against the copying of the specific form of expression found in the protected work, but does not protect the idea or concept that is the subject of the work. Protection of an idea, on the other hand, can be done with patents.

When to use copyright protection.

A work enjoys copyright protection as soon as it is fixed in a tangible medium, such as paper, canvas, or a digital medium such as a computer hard drive. It is prudent to provide notice by using the copyright © symbol as a method of informing others of an intent to exercise control over the production, distribution, display, and/or performance of the work.

Registration is not necessary to claim the protection of copyright law. However, registration is required before commencing a copyright infringement lawsuit, and early registration enhances the remedies available against an infringer and provides for certain evidentiary presumptions.

While the basic concept of copyright protection may appear relatively straightforward, various questions frequently arise. When you hire a person to create something for you, who owns the copyright in the resulting work? Where is the line between the concept or idea and the protected expression of that idea? How dissimilar do two works need to be in order to avoid infringing the copyright of another? An experienced intellectual property attorney can provide the answers to these questions and more.

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