When you say copyright, you are referring to the term used to describe a type of protection of the intellectual property given the government of the United States. It’s a protection that is given to the original works of creation that are said to be fixed in a form that’s physical. It’s given to a work whether it has been unpublished or published. It protects paintings, written works, photographs, software, movies, and even live performances. Thus, any of your original work, whatever form it may be in, it will be protected by the law. Therefore, anyone who will get caught copying your work will be punishable by law.
What Is a Copyright?
When you’d look for the definition of copyright in a dictionary, you will find that it’s defined as an exclusive right given to a person, for him/her to publish, reproduce, or sell any of his/her original works.
You should know that the copyright law can only cover a work that is in material form. Thus, if you have ideas, concepts, facts, or techniques in a specific work, it will not be covered. That is why if you have a work, you should turn it into a tangible form if you want it to have copyright protection.
The Rights Of A Copyright Owner
The main goal of the copyright law is to give protection to the creator’s time, effort, and creativity dedicated to his/her work. Thus, the Copyright Act can provide you specific rights that are exclusive to you.
You have the right to:
- Reproduce your original work
- Prepare works that are related to your original work
- Distribute copies of your work through transferring the ownership, selling it, or leasing it
- Perform your work publicly
- Display your work to the public
You also have a right to give other people authorization to have the right listed above. You have the ability and option to transfer or subdivide your rights to exclusivity to other people as well. Just make sure that when you assign or subdivide your exclusive rights, this will be written down on a contract. The contract will make the transfer or subdivision legal.
If you’re employed by a company, and you have an original work done in your course of employment, you’re not usually given a copyright. This is called as “work made for hire.” Thus, your employer will be given the copyright ownership.
How To Register Your Copyright?
In the United States, registering at the U.S Copyright Office is not entirely needed. However, if you want to secure your work for a copyright protection, having a public and legal record has its advantages.
When you register your work at the U.S Copyright Office:
- There’s a public record of your copyright claim
- It’s necessary when you want to file a copyright infringement case
- Registering after three months of publishing your work, you’ll be able to recover legal fees spent during the lawsuit
The application for you to be able to register your copyright contains three factors:
- Application form
- A copy of your work
You can also register online through the electronic portal of the Copyright Office (eCO).
What Are The Limitations Of Copyright Protection?
There are only particular manners or forms that the copyright will be able to cover. It can only refer works that are manifested in a material form. It will not be able to include your works that are just concepts, ideas, or techniques. Thus, the law will not be able to prevent anyone from copying the way you have produced your work in general.
However, there are specific areas that are not covered by the copyright law that is covered by intellectual property law. Patent law covers your ideas, methods, procedures, processes, and systems.
Protect Your Copyright
If you have any a number of works that are you originally created, you should immediately register it for protection. You can also work with a lawyer who can help you protect your work. Lawyers such as the ones we have here at mandourlaw.com can help you ensure that no one else can take advantage of your time, effort, and creativity.