Copyrights protect authors of “original works of authorship” that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. An original work of authorship is a work that is independently created by a human author and that possesses at least some minimal degree of creativity. A work is “fixed in a tangible form of expression” when it is captured in a sufficiently permanent medium such that the work can be perceived, reproduced, or communicated for more than a short time. Copyright protection in the United States exists automatically from the moment the original work is fixed.
A work of authorship may include literary works, musical works (including accompanying words), dramatic works (including accompanying music), choreographic works, pictorial works, graphic works, sculptural works, audiovisual works, sound recordings, and architectural works.
Copyright provides the owner with the exclusive right to reproduce the work, prepare derivative works, distribute copies of the work, perform the work, display the work publicly, and perform the work publicly. Copyright also provides the owner with the right to authorize other to exercise these exclusive rights subject to certain statutory limitations.
While copyright protection in the United States exists automatically, registration with the Copyright Office provides several statutory advantages that include:
- The filing of an infringement suit in court requires registration of the work.
- Prima facie evidence of validity is established by registration of the work.
- Statutory damages, attorney fees, and costs for infringement when the registration is made before infringement or within three months after publication of the work.
- Establish a record with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that allows for protection against the importation of infringing copies of the work.
John C. Laurence Law, PLLC can help prepare and file a copyright application, as described generally below. We can also help enforce your copyright against infringement. Contact me today at 917-612-1059 to schedule a free consultation.
Copyright Application Process
Provide an electronic copy of expressive work
Electronically file a copyright registration application
Monitor copyright application for issuance of a registration
John C. Laurence Law, PLLC
New York, NY
917 612 1059
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