Should you have any questions or concerns regarding copyright law, infringements, or protections, contact an attorney or lawyer with our law firm today.
Copyright thought of most generally is simply that, the right to copy. More specifically, the owner of a copyright in a work has the exclusive right to do or authorize the following:
The Copyright Act of 1976 protects "original works of authorship" that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. The fixation need not be directly perceptible so long as it may be communicated with the aid of a machine or device. Copyrightable works include the following categories:
These categories should be viewed broadly. For example, computer programs and most "compilations" may be registered as "literary works"; maps and architectural plans may be registered as "pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works."
Of particular interest to businesses are works made for hire, wherein the employer and not the employee is considered to be the author. Section 101 of the Copyright Act defines a "work made for hire" as a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment or a work prepared by an independent contractor for use as a(n):
Benefits of Registration
In general, copyright registration is a legal formality intended to make a public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright. However, registration is not a condition of copyright protection. Even though registration is not a requirement for protection, the copyright law provides several inducements or advantages to encourage copyright owners to make registration. Among these advantages are the following:
A work that is created after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment of its creation and is given a term lasting for the author’s life, plus an additional 70 years after the author’s death. For works made for hire the duration of copyright will be 95 years from first publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.
The notice for visually perceptible copies should contain all the following three elements:
Example: © 2002 John Doe
Example: 2002 A. B. C. Records Inc
Copyright Protection Recommendations.
A list of all copyrightable works of the business should be generated. This might include:
Communicate with an attorney experienced in copyright matters to determine whether any critically important copyrights should be registered with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress or visit www.loc.gov.
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