A Copyright Protects Your Written Work
If you are an author, copyright protects our work from being used without your permission. If someone is using your unique or artistic material without a license, you may have an action for copyright infringement.
Authors create content based on their unique writing skills and perspective. Whether an article, a novel, short story, essay or poem comes strictly from the imagination or is based on facts, a writer brings creativity and talent to his or her work. It can take years hard work and little pay to complete a project, publish it and reap the rewards of perseverance.
Because you created your work, you own the rights to it. You decide who may and may not use it. When someone uses your work without your permission, it violates your rights. When someone has a license to use your materials but does so in a way that violates the scope of your authorization, it also violates your rights.
If you are a writer and someone has misused your work or used it without securing a license it may be copyright infringement. Contact our experienced copyright lawyers at Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC today to find out how we can help you uphold your rights and collect compensation.
The US Copyright Act Protects Original Work
The Copyright Act protects original work created by a variety of individuals and industries. Some of the materials that fall within the scope of the Act include:
- Musical work
- Dramatic work
- Literary materials
- Motion picture
- Graphic art
For the creators of these materials, including authors, the Copyright Act grants exclusive rights to engage in the following:
- Reproduce the copyrighted work
- Create derivative work that originates from the copyrighted work
- Distribute copies of it
- Perform it in public
- Display the work in public
When someone uses your work in any of these ways and does so without permission, you may have a case of copyright infringement. If so, you might be able to collect monetary damages from the party who violated your rights. Contact our copyright lawyers at Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC to find out how we can help you protect your intellectual property rights.
How Do You Obtain a Copyright?
Federal copyright law protects written materials as soon as they are produced. The materials are under copyright protection the moment the words are created and fixed in a medium that makes it tangible (on paper, a computer, an e-reader – not an idea in your head).
Copyright requires no paperwork or application. Registering your copyright with the US Copyright Office is optional. If you do register your copyright, even after you suspect a violation has occurred, it can increase the amount of money you are allowed to recover if someone infringes on your copyright.
The materials do not have to be published. Copyright protects works that are unpublished and published.
Why Is Copyright Important to Authors?
Copyright constitutes ownership. Owning your original work means that it is your intellectual property. When you write a book, poem, essay, article, or play, you control:
- Who uses it
- How they use it
- Who can use it to generate revenue (if anyone, besides yourself)
You exercise this control by granting a license, assigning your rights, or retaining full ownership and control. The terms under which you allow others to use your work if at all, are up to you and the party to whom you are giving permission.
Registering Your Copyright Can Increase Your Monetary Award
Generally, registering a copyright is strictly voluntary. Again, copyright exists from the moment an author creates his or her work.
However, authors may want to register their copyright with the US Copyright Office. Why register your copyright?
- Litigation: If you want to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement, you need to have a registered copyright to file a claim against the infringing party.
- Evidence: If you register your copyright, it can be used as prima facie evidence of ownership in a court of law. The registration is enough to prove that you are the owner of the work.
- Public Record: After so much hard work having a public record of the facts of your copyright is good to have. You receive a certificate of registration that documents the facts of your copyright.
Hiring A Copyright Attorney Can Help Protect Your Rights
To ensure your work and your rights receive the maximum protection, consider consulting with a copyright attorney at Liebowitz Law, PLLC. An experienced copyright lawyer can:
- Help determine if you should apply/file your copyright
- Ensure your application is completed and submitted correctly, expediting the process
- Help determine if someone has infringed on your copyright, for example,
- Did someone steal your work?
- Did someone use your work without paying you?
- Did someone Violate the terms of a license agreement?
- Did someone use your work without permission?
- If someone violated your copyright, a lawyer could help you stop the infringement and pursue the collection of monetary damages the law allows.
- If someone accuses you of copyright infringement, your copyright attorney can defend you.
Contact Liebowitz Law Firm for a Free Evaluation of Your Copyright Infringement Case
At Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC, we know how hard you work to create original materials. We work just as hard to make sure that authors remain in control of how their materials are used. If you think someone is violating your copyright, let us help. We are not defense attorneys. We only work for the plaintiff. Call Liebowitz Law Firm today at (516) 233-1660 for a free case evaluation.