Copyright is the group of rights that are automatically granted to an author of an original work.
What is Protected?
There are three requirements for a work to be protected by copyright:
- Original: The work must be independently created and cannot be copied from any other work.
- Creative: Only a small amount of creativity is required. An example of a work not creative enough for protection would be a phone book.
- Fixed: The work must be fixed in a tangible medium of expression. In order to be considered fixed, the expression must be sufficiently permanent to allow it to be perceived, reproduced, or communicated.
Assuming a particular work meets the above requirements, the types of work generally protected include literary works, musical works, dramatic works, choreography, pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, motion pictures, other audiovisual works, sound recordings, and architectural works.
Ownership of Copyright in a work grants the owner the following exclusive rights with respect to the work:
- Make copies
- Create derivatives
- Distribute copies
- Public display
- Perform publicly via digital audio transmission of sound recordings
Why Register for Copyright Registration?
While copyright automatically vests in a work that is sufficiently original, creative, and fixed, securing copyright registration brings many benefits, including:
- Bringing an Infringement Action: A copyright application allows you to enforce your rights against a third party in federal court.
- Validity: Registration is evidence that the copyright is valid, which provides valuable strength to any arguments of prior rights in a courtroom.
- Statutory Damages and Attorney’s Fees: A registration is required to collect statutory damages and attorney’s fees. The availability of statutory damages is important because damages can be difficult to prove in an infringement case.
- Notice: Registration creates notice that your work is protected.
We Can Help With Copyright Registration and Copyright Transfer Agreements
The numerous benefits that accompany Copyright Registration make it important to accomplish registration quickly and thoroughly. And if you are considering a Copyright Transfer Agreement, it is important that your rights are properly transferred and protected. Contact us for help with your Copyright Registration or Copyright Transfer Agreement.