Copyright is a form of protection rooted in the U.S. Constitution itself. It protects original, creative works of authorship that are fixed in a “tangible medium of expression,” which generally means that something is written down or recorded. For example, works eligible for protection range from poetry, novels, movies, songs, to computer software and architecture. U.S. law grants the holder the exclusive right to reproduce the work and to prepare derivative works based on the work, among other rights.
The U.S. recognizes that a copyright exists from the moment the work is created. However, registration is necessary to fully enjoy the benefits. For example, registration is necessary when seeking the right to attorneys’ fees and statutory damages. Also, registration is a requirement before these and other rights may be enforced in federal courts.
Consequently, registration is clearly important. However, many people do not realize that it is also time-sensitive. Because, delay in applying for registration often causes the loss of fundamental rights, timely registration is essential to ensure that the maximum benefits are available.
In addition, all creative works should include a copyright notice, such as “© 2016 Garrity Traina, PLLC”. A proper notice tells the public that the author claims rights in the work. Moreover, notice is often the first and simplest of steps you can take to take to protect your work. More information is available in our Frequently Asked Questions.
Garrity Traina assists clients with copyright matters that including: applications for registration, transfers/assignments, and licensing. In addition, we advise and represent our clients with respect to their enforcement and other copyright litigation needs.
Please contact us today to set up your free consultation. We would love to discuss how we can assist you with copyright protection, filing an application for registration, or your copyright litigation matter.