Copyright Law

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Most Common Intellectual Property Law Issues:

What Is Copyright?

A copyright is a right to prevent others from using your originally authored work. Under the federal copyright law, a copyright entitles the owner to many exclusive rights, such as the right to:

Types of Copyrighted Works

Copyrights can protect endless types of creative work such as:

Copyright Protection

Under the federal law, you get a copyright to your work automatically once you have "fixed" your original work in a "tangible medium of expression." You must have independently created the work and not adapted it from something else. The work must also be placed in a sufficiently permanent medium so others can reproduce, view or communicate it. 

Registering a Copyright 

There are a number of reasons you should still formally register your copyright. While your work does have automatic copyright protection once it fits the above description, you are limited in your remedies if you do not properly register the copyright.

For example, copyright registration will affect:

An owner and creator of original work can register a copyright at the U.S. Copyright Office. Usually, an owner needs to fill out a form specific to the work that the owner wishes to register, and submit a fee.

Should I Consult an Attorney about My Copyright Issue?

An attorney can help you meet all the deadlines and fulfill all the requirements. A lawyer can also participate in on-going research to make certain no one else is using your copyright without your permission. Additionally, if you have an issue of copyright infringement, an attorney can guide you through the difficult and strict procedural requirements for litigation and bring out the core of your case.

Vea esta página en español: Derechos de Autor o visita para más información legal.

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Last Modified: 12-04-2013 12:58 PM PST

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