Protect Your Copyright


Copyrights protect works of art and expression that are longer than a few words. In the United States, you own a copyright as soon as that art or expression is “fixed’ in a “tangible medium.”  In other words, you have a copyright in your art as soon as the paint dries on your canvas, a note is scribbled into the treble staff, a music recording is stored into a memory device, or your pen puts a period at the end of a sentence. A registration of that copyright requires a copy of the work to be provided to the United States Copyright Office with a fee to ensure that the work is fixed at the time a registration application is submitted.

The Importance of a Copyright Application

If your works of art or expression are copied or stolen, you must have a copyright registration to sue for damages.

The United States also offers criminal penalties for copyright violators. Those who steal copyrighted works of art and expression can land in jail and face severe fines.

The © symbol gives notice to the public that a particular work of art or expression is copyrighted. You do not need a copyright registration to use the © symbol on your artistic works or expression.

Copyright ownership can be one of the biggest issues in copyright law. Typically, when a company hire an employee or a contractor to produce something that could be considered a work of art or an expression, the company owns the resulting product as a “work-for-hire.”  We can help ensure that ownership is clearly defined from the outset and prevent ownership issues that can arise later.

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