COPYRIGHTS

Our increasingly connected world has significantly increased people's access to information and works protected by copyright while also providing the means to copy such works. Our attorneys are experienced at identifying and registering copyrights and applying copyright law to new technologies. We work with our clients to protect their copyrightable works from creation through registration and enforcement. 

WHAT IS A COPYRIGHT? 


Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.

 

Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

 

  • reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
     

  • prepare derivative works based upon the work;
     

  • distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
     

  • perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and  choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures, and other audiovisual works;
     

  • display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
     

  • perform the work publicly (in the case of sound recordings) using a digital audio transmission.

WHEN IS A COPYRIGHT CREATED?

A copyright is created the moment an original work of authorship is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. For example, recording an original song in computer memory creates a copyright but singing an original song without recording the same does not. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO COPYRIGHT SOMETHING?

The act of "copyrighting" a work (e.g. song) is the registering of an author's copyright with the United States Copyright Office. Registration is not required to own a copyright, but registration comes with many benefits.