What does Copyright Protect?
Copyright law provides protection for original works of authorship. Above all, it gives the owner exclusive rights in the work created including to:
- reproduce copies,
- distribute copies,
- create derivative works, and
- authorize others to do so.
When does Copyright Protection Start?
Unlike many other intellectual property laws, copyright protection starts upon creation. In other words, it begins when a work is fixed in a tangible meeting, copyright protection applies.
How do I Ensure Copyright Protection of My Content?
The simplest first step is a “Copyright Notice”. Specifically, a Copyright Notice makes the public aware that you claim ownership. Notice also identifies the copyright owner for parties seeking permission to use the work.
Copyright Notice specifically consists of a single continuous statement that includes:
- copyright symbol ©; the word “copyright”; or the abbreviation “copr.”
- year of first publication of the work; and
- name of the copyright owner.
For your key works, therefore, including unique software, databases, graphic user interfaces, manuals, writings, and recordings, register a copyright.
Additionally, copyright registration provides these protections:
- presumption of ownership and validity,
- constructive notice to competitors,
- legal foundation to pursue copycats,
- ability to sue for actual damages and for a court order to stop the use
- copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years
How to Register a Copyright?
To register with the United States Copyright Office, in particular submit an application to the Registrar of Copyrights along with a fee and a “deposit” of the work. Truly, copyright registration provides a low cost, high value content protection.
Can I Get a Global Copyright?
Copyright registration covers specific territories. In other words, registering a United States Copyright does not provide you an “international copyright registration.” However, many countries participate in international conventions. International conventions and treaties provide protection in other countries. In fact, a United States copyright automatically protects against infringement in a foreign jurisdiction that is a member to a convention. Specifically, no registration in the foreign jurisdiction required. Therefore, you can bring lawsuits against infringement not only in the United States but also many other countries.
Copyright protection can be a valuable mechanism to minimize your legal risk.
Therefor, it’s a good idea to evaluate your current practices and then take that first step to securing your success.
Do you need help with your Copyright strategy? Contact us here.
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