Google Review

Understanding Copyright Protection: Your Guide to Safeguarding Creative Works

In today’s modern age, where creativity has no bounds, protecting your intellectual property is of paramount importance. Copyright protection grants creators exclusive rights to their original works, ensuring they can reap the rewards of their creativity, time, and effort. Whether you’re a writer, photographer, artist, musician, or any other creative professional, here’s a summarized guide on copyright protection.

What is Copyright Protection?

Copyright protection is a legal mechanism that safeguards the original works and grants the creators the right to protect their work from unauthorized use or reproduction. These works encompass a wide array such as literary works, music compositions, performances, films, software, and many more. Copyright protection provides creators with exclusive rights, including the right to reproduce, distribute, publicly perform or display, and create derivative works from their original creation.

Obtaining Copyright Protection: Steps to Follow

Create an Original Work: Only an original work may be afforded copyright protection. This means, of course, your work cannot be copied from another’s work. However, it is okay to be inspired by other works so long as it is not so similar that it could be said that you plainly copied from them. Basically, if someone can point to your work, or a portion of your work, and can tell that it was copied from somewhere else, you put yourself at risk of being sued for copyright infringement.

Make sure your work is Copyrightable: Not all works are eligible for copyright protection. Works must also meet a threshold for creativity. Copyright protection is not available for facts, procedures, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or basic information regardless of the form in which it is described or illustrated.

Put the work in a Tangible Form: For copyright protection to apply, your work needs to be fixed in any tangible medium of expression that can be perceived by others. Whether physical or digital, this includes a writing, audio or video recording, graphic, painting, and just about any other tangible medium of expression you can think of outside of just keeping the idea within your mind.

Registration: Importantly, copyright protection is automatic and immediate once you create your work and put it in tangible form. Yes, no paperwork is needed. Right away you can place the copyright symbol “©” alongside your unregistered creative work. However, registering your work is extremely important and provides additional benefits. Registration serves as a public record of your ownership which is crucial in legal disputes. Also, in general, courts only award money damages for infringement if the copyrighted work was registered, and courts limit unregistered works to an injunction award to stop the infringer from continuing to copy the work.

International Protection: Copyright protection is usually territorial, limited to the country where it’s registered. However, international agreements like the Berne Convention ensure that your copyright is recognized in many countries, which simplifies cross-border protection.

Non-Registration: If you desire not to seek formal registration, we recommend using digital timestamp services or blockchain technology to establish a verifiable record of your ownership of your work and the work’s creation date. While this is not a substitute for formal registration, this can serve as helpful evidence to establish your ownership and creation of the work in the event of a lawsuit.

Copyright Protection: Next Steps

For further information or help regarding copyright protection and registration of your creative work, whether it be in the United States or internationally, please contact me, or any member of the Widerman Malek Team to be directed to an Intellectual Property attorney that can help you.