A copyright is a set of legal rights that allows the copyright holder certain privileges regarding a created work. For instance, the holder of a copyright for protected material may have the exclusive rights to:
Copyright protections apply to a very wide range of works and materials, including:
Copyright infringement occurs when one person violates the exclusive rights of the copyright holder. For instance, the only of the copyright owner of a play may perform the play in public places for profit. If another person or company attempts to perform the play in public for profit, they might be held liable for infringement. Another example is when a person sells copyrighted songs without permission.
Punishment for infringement can include civil charges for lost profits, and other consequences such as confiscation of the unauthorized material. Federal charges can also apply in some infringement cases, making it a very serious offense.
In some instances a person owns a copyright by the simple virtue of creating the work. However, in order to be sure of their rights, the owner will usually want to register their copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office. This ensures that there is a valid written record of the person’s rights.
In other cases, a copyright may be verified through other means. For instance, with electronic media, the copyright date and time of a work can be traceable through the electronic stamp created when the work is submitted on the internet.
You may wish to hire an intellectual property lawyer if you need help obtaining, defending, or contesting copyright issues. Your attorney can advise you on the laws in your area, and can help determine what your rights are in the situation. Also, if you need to file a lawsuit for damages, your attorney can help you file a claim, and can represent you during the court meetings.
Last Modified: 05-22-2018 10:37 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.