Why hire a Copyright Attorney?
Copyrights apply to the expression of ideas. Copyrights are provided by the United States federal government to the authors for protection of “original works of authorship.” A copyright attorney can simplify the process.
Copyrightable works include the following categories: literary works; musical works, including any accompanying words; dramatic works, including any accompanying music; pantomimes and choreographic works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; motion pictures and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; and architectural works. These categories are viewed broadly by the United States Copyright Office. Thus, things like computer codes can be registered as “literary works” and maps can be registered as “pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.”
Copyrights are actually automatic upon creation. But, there are certain benefits a copyright attorney can assist you with to secure a copyright. They are:
- Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.
- Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U. S. origin.
- If made before or within five years of publication, registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.
- If registration is made within three months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.
- Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U. S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies.”
Problems can arise regarding ownership when you deal with “work-for-hire” products and products made on the job.
To file a copyright, you need: a completed application form, a non-refundable filing fee, and a copy or copies of the work to be registered. Registration is effective the date the office receives all of the required elements in acceptable form.
In order to give notice to others of your copyright, either registered or not, use the following format:
© 2008 John Doe
Where 2008 is the year of first publication of the work and John Doe is the name of the owner of the copyright.
Protect your copyrights – hire a copyright attorney
Problems can arise regarding ownership when you deal with “work-for-hire” products and products made on the job. If this may be the issue, contact us and we can analyze the situation and determine how best to proceed.
Albuquerque copyright attorneys also offers counseling regarding potential infringement on your part. Many people run into copyright problems when starting their website. There is something called “fair use,” but many people take that too far and leave themselves open to potential copyright infringement claims. Let us counsel you on what can safely be included on your website, brochures, booklets, etc.
In addition, we offer counseling regarding licensing, policing, and enforcement of your copyright rights. Licensing copyrights can be a very profitable venture if done correctly. But, there can be many contracts involved and you need to be careful about how many rights you are actually giving away. It’s also important to police your copyright. But, what if you see someone who is using your copyright? That’s where we can come in and assist you in enforcing your rights.
Contact professional copyright attorneys to see if you need to file a copyright. Having registered copyrights is an important step in adding value to your company.