If you've spent countless hours creating a work of art, a multi-media video, marketing brochures, literature or any other important work valuable to your business, you probably want to protect it from being taken advantage of by others. This is where registering your work with the copyright office comes in. By doing so, you not only establish a public record of your ownership of the copyright but also gain several other benefits, including the ability to sue in federal court and to claim statutory damages and attorney's fees in case of infringement. Moreover, registration with the copyright office provides you with essential leverage in negotiations with potential infringers, as it establishes the validity of your copyright and your seriousness about enforcing it.
Hiring a copyright attorney to handle the registration process can be helpful in ensuring that your work is properly protected and that you are aware of all legal considerations and options available to you. To learn more about the copyright registration process, read the sections below. Book a low cost,1/2 hour detailed consultation, or book a free 15 minute general information consultation, whichever fits your needs.
What is Copyright?
Copyright protects original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. This includes among other things, literary, musical, and dramatic works, motion pictures, and even sound recordings. For business, this could be a marketing plan, a manual that describes procedures used in the manufacturing of a product, databases, and multi-media creations for presentation and social media. It's important to note that copyright does not protect any ideas but rather the expression of those ideas. For example, an idea for a logo or story is not protected, but when you set it on paper, or create it on a computer with software, that embodiment of the idea is protected.
While registering with the U.S. Copyright Office is not required, it can be beneficial for added protection. The registration itself may deter others from using your work in the first place. In the event the work is used without permission, a registration will provide greater leverage to your copyright cease & desist letter. The duration of copyright protection varies, but is typically 70 years after the author's death.
Protecting your intellectual property is crucial, and understanding copyright law is an important part of that process. As a copyright owner, you have the right to prevent others from reproducing, adapting, distributing, performing, or displaying your work. In case of copyright infringement, you may file a lawsuit to enforce your rights and potentially seek remedies such as an injunction, damages, and attorneys' fees.
Want to know more about the copyright registration process? Continue reading below. For more information, book a consult today!
Gather The Required Copyright Information
When completing a copyright registration application, there are several types of information that will need to be provided. These include the name and address of the copyright author as well as the claimant, who may or may not be the same person, an understanding of the type of work to be registered (literary, visual arts, performing arts, sound recording, etc.), a title of the work, and an understanding of whether the work has been published or is unpublished. This last piece of information is not as clear cut as one would think, as merely posting something on the internet does not normally constitute 'publication' in the context of copyright registration. An attorney, such as Intellequity, can provide more clarification on this point.
I can ensure you have the proper information and with my automated system, this information can be uploaded straight into the eCO system when we are ready to file your application.
Read more information below on other important things to know about the copyright registration process. Ready for me to file a copyright registration for you? Book a low-cost consult today!
In order to file a copyright registration, the first step is to set up an account with the copyright office (eCO). No registration can be filed until this is done. Once that has been accomplished, it is time to begin your filing.
Registering a copyright is not always a difficult process, but it can be confusing and if you are not careful or do not know what you are doing, it may be best to let an attorney handle it for you. With the relatively low cost of hiring an attorney, the peace of mind you receive and the time you saved by doing so, will far outweigh the little money you might save by not hiring one, especially if you plan on making money with your copyrighted work. What type of work to register under, who the author is, who the claimant is, what to deposit to upload to the system and whether the work has been published or not are all items that can trip up an inexperienced filer and can result in an invalid registration.
Not sure whether you need an attorney to help? Here is some free advice, first register for an electronic copyright office account (eCO), then go to the copyright webpage, sign in and look through the application. If you start reading through the application and do not have any questions, you are probably ok to file yourself. However, if you have difficulty understanding any questions, difficulty understanding what category of work you should file under, what certain words mean or what you will need to deposit with the office, feel free to book a consultation and we can begin the process together.
Once the application has been successfully filled out and the proper deposit uploaded, you are then required to certify that the information you have provided is true and accurate. At that point, you must make payment of the filing fee, which is dictated by the type of filing you choose. Once this is done, your application will sit until it is picked up by the eCO for review. If the office accepts your registration application, it will notify you. If there are any issues, you will be notified as well.
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The law firm is licensed to practice in Oregon. The information provided by this website is offered for general information only. It is not intended to be legal advice and does not establish an Attorney-Client relationship between you and this firm. For more detailed information on your particular situation, contact us at 503-877-0881.
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