Lawyers Help Clients Understand Copyrights
Copyright is a property right that exists when original work gets created. It protects original works including photographs, books, poems, movies, songs, recordings, paintings, illustrations, sculptures, screenplays, logos, software code, website content and more.
The artist, author, designer, or creator of the original work immediately has a copyright and, therefore, legal protection, the moment the work gets produced. The copyright means that no one else may reproduce, use, distribute, display, broadcast or copy your work. You, as the owner of the work, have exclusive ownership and may or may not authorize others to use your work. You can grant someone a limited-use license or give up your copyright entirely. You determine the terms under which you allow others to use your work and the compensation you will receive.
When someone violates your copyright, you may have the right to file a claim to recover monetary damages. If you are a photographer, artist or other creative professional and have questions about whether someone owes you money for copyright infringement, call Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation. We can help you collect fair compensation for your hard work when it gets used without permission.
The Importance of Registering Your Copyright
Many clients ask us, “If a copyright exists automatically, why should I register my copyright with the US Copyright Office?” It is a good question: If your rights arise automatically, why take the additional steps and expense to register your copyright?
Because it can significantly increase the value of your copyright and make it easier to enforce your rights. How? Consider the following ways it pays to register your copyright with the US Copyright Office.
Registering your copyright creates a public record of ownership. In any copyright infringement case, you must be able to prove that you own the image, artwork, or book in question. Filing a registration creates a record that shows own the material that is the subject of the filing. If you are involved in a dispute, this record can be instrumental in helping you prove your case.
The burden then shifts to the other party to prove otherwise. For example, if John B. completes a painting in 2017, and registers his copyright in 2018. In a copyright infringement dispute, the opposing party will have to prove that John B. is not the owner of the rights to the painting.
Registering your copyright creates the ability to collect greater damages in the event of a successful lawsuit. By registering your copyright, you are eligible to receive statutory damages if someone violates your copyright. Statutory damages provide a set amount of money for infringement regardless of the number of actual damages.
Registering your copyright also makes you eligible to recover attorney’s fees, and costs.
Registering your copyright may also discourage individuals from violating your rights in the first place, and using your work without permission or compensation. Someone can quickly look at the registration to see who, if anyone, owns the work they want to use. If your copyright is filed, it makes it difficult for a “violator” to claim he or she did not know someone owned work.
Having an attorney help you with your copyright registration ensures that it gets done correctly and that your rights are solidly protected. Consider this:
- We have legal expertise in copyright laws
- We understand how unusual laws or facts can affect your intellectual property rights
- We maintain confidentiality
- Our copyright attorneys explain the copyright registration process to help you make sound business decisions that protect your interests.
- We can ensure the accuracy of your registration.
Our experienced copyright lawyers at Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC can also help you in the event litigation is needed to enforce your property rights. We have a thorough understanding of all US copyright laws and the issues that arise in intellectual property cases.
Contact Us to Register Your Copyright and Protect Your Work
You work hard to create unique creative work. Capturing a photograph in just the right light can take weeks of trial and error. A painting you have been working on may take years to complete. That book you authored might have taken a decade to get published. Don’t you deserve compensation for your hard work? Is it fair for someone else to profit from your dedication and talent? The answer is “no.”
At Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC, we are dedicated to making sure that the full extent of the law protects the rights of creative individuals. Registering copyrights, negotiating licensing agreements, and navigating copyright infringement cases on behalf of photographers, artists, and writers are what we do best.
If someone is using your work without your permission, call us for a free case evaluation. We can help you collect the monetary compensation you deserve and see to it that your ownership rights are enforced.