Intellectual property (IP) is critical in today's competitive market, yet advancements in this digital age make it easier than ever to violate intellectual property rights. That's especially true for anything you write or produce. Whether as an individual or an entity – your written creations risk copyright infringement if not protected. Violators can easily find material online and use it as their own to profit from it. It is important to protect your original work, and one of the most important and effective means of protection is copyright registration.
Overview of Copyright Law
A copyright gives an author of an original work exclusive rights to their work, including the right to control and protect it. Copyrights cover a wide variety of different subject matters.
Elements of a Copyright
When applying to register a copyright, certain elements must be met—most notably, originality. The work cannot be a copy of anything else. Copyrights must also be tangible and at least a little creative. In other words, an idea cannot be copyrighted, but a written work can be.
What Can Be Copyrighted
Original works of authorship can be copyrighted, including:
- Architectural Works
Slogans, symbols, and designs cannot be copyrighted, though they may be eligible for trademark protection. To learn more about trademark protection, see these articles.
The Rights a Copyright Provides
When the owner of a work copyrights it, they have the ability to:
- Distribute; and
- Sell the work.
For example, if the work is a play, they can perform it; if it is a movie, they can show it. Copyright also allows the owner to prepare derivative works based on the original. Copyright owners can also authorize others to exercise the rights given to them by the copyright.
This is the first in a series of blog posts related to copyright law. Next month's post will focus on the process of registering for copyright protection.
How Gallium Law Can Help
At Gallium Law, our IP professionals handle all types of copyright matters and will help you understand the benefits of pursuing copyright protection for your original works. You may be a business or an individual; in either case, your original work should benefit you, not someone else who attempts to use it for their own benefit. Contact us today by either filling out the online form or contacting us at 651-256-9480 to schedule a Free and Confidential Consultation.
*The information provided in this article is not legal advice and should not be relied on as such. This article is meant for informational purposes only and is intended as a starting point in your search for answers to your legal questions.