A thorough understanding of copyright law is essential to the growth of your small business- especially, if you anticipate your creative work increasing in value. While, yes, copyright to your work is automatically granted upon its creation, there are several advantages of registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office. A registered copyright adds an extra layer of protection over your intellectual property by deterring infringement. It is also a prerequisite for filing an infringement lawsuit, claiming statutory damages, and gives you a stronger position when you move to license or sell your creations. Also, a registered copyright allows you to collect royalties when others use or distribute your work.
According to the U.S. Copyright Office, “Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.” Because copyright law only protects content that has been documented or recorded, any of your ideas, systems, or operational methods are excluded from copyright protection.
Copyright law protects a broad range of your intellectual property:
- Literary works- fiction, poetry, computer programs, written communications, catalogs, online textural works.
- Musical works- song lyrics, advertising jingles.
- Dramatic works- screenplays, scripts.
- Pictorial works- paintings, photographs, drawings, online or digital artwork.
- Graphic work- prints, maps, architectural plans and drawings.
- Sculptural works- globes, models, applies art.
- Choreographic works- ballet, modern dance.
- Motion Pictures- documentaries, online videos, motion picture soundtracks.
- Audiovisual works- video games, slide presentations, online courses and materials.
- Sounds recordings- recording of vocal or musical performance, recording of literary work (audiobook).
- Architectural works- buildings, architectural drawings.
Under U.S. copyright law, as a copyright owner, you are granted six exclusive rights.
- The right to reproduce and control the reproduction of works.
- The right to prepare derivative works.
- The right to distribute and control how work is publicly distributed.
- The right to perform and control how work is publicly performed.
- The right to right to publicly display and control how work is publicly displayed.
- The right to right to publicly perform sound recordings.
Stop others from copying your work and protect your intellectual creations. Contact Kendal Law Group PC for your consultation today.