Copyright

Copyright protects your original works, from the copy on your website, to books, newsletters, audio-visual works, musical works (written or recorded), illustrations, songs, screenplays, choreography, multimedia works, software code, educational materials, and podcasts, to name just a few. When you create an original work, showing these works to the world, or even just a few people, carries the risk that someone will take and exploit (and profit from) your creative works for their own benefit.

Why is copyright so important?

As the name suggests, copyright is your right to protect your original creations from being copied or used by others without your consent. Copyright consists of a bundle of rights, allowing the copyright owner to control and parcel out a works’ distribution, display, and reproduction, all of which can be divided amongst different territories and timeframes. While copyright ownership exists at the moment you place your original work in a tangible medium (a piece of paper, film, a hard drive, etc.), formal copyright registration is crucial because it provides significant remedies not otherwise available in the event that you have to pursue infringement claims against third parties who are using your works without your permission.

Hiring an experienced attorney to counsel you through the copyright process — from creation to registration, licensing or assignment, and policing and enforcement — will help you maximize the value of your works and avoid costly mistakes. While the registration process may appear simple, and sometimes it is, having an experienced attorney on your team to navigate the process ensures that you secure all of the substantial benefits of registration.

So what does copyright protect?
Copyright protects original works, the most common are:

  • Literary (books, periodicals, newsletters, blogs, software code)
  • Dramatic
  • Musical – both compositions and sound recordings
  • Visual Arts (fine art, graphic design, photography, printmaking, and architecture, to name a few)
  • Audio-visual works
  • And More!

What is not protected by copyright?
Good question! Copyright does not protect:

  • Facts
  • Ideas
  • Systems
  • Operational methods
  • And More! (Contact our team for more information, if you are unsure.)

*However, copyright may protect the particular way these things are expressed.

Next Steps

We are well-suited (no pun intended, we rarely wear suits) to provide counsel regarding the creation, protection, licensing, and enforcement of copyrights, whether you are the creator, the party engaging creators to develop original materials for your use, or you seek to license or purchase existing works.