Copyrights are intellectual property rights protected by the United States Constitution and granted by law to "original works of authroship fixed in a tangible medium of expression". Copyright rights are constitutionally granted rights, meaning once a work is created, copyright protections exists. This protection continues to last for the artist’s life plus 70 years.
Copyrights, which grant creators the rights to determine who, what, and when someone may use their original work, may be registered (or preregistered prior to completion and publication) by filing an application with the United States Copyright Office. Although registration is not required, getting it registered can provide many benefits. If you’d like to pursue legal action for copyright infringement, it must be registered with the U.S Copyright office.
Like trademarks, copyrights are intellectual property, which can be harder to define. This makes it common for the ownership of the copyright to be in dispute. Initially, intellectual property is owned by the person who created it, however, it can be transferred, assigned or released to other persons or entities by way of agreement, relationship between the parties, transactions, operation of law or the passage of certain time periods.
Copyrights cover a range of creative works including: music, poetry, fiction, paintings, and most commonly, photographs.
Knowing what cannot be copyrighted is just as important as knowing what can be copyrighted. The following cannot be copyrighted: ideas, titles, names, fonts, logos, distinctive words/phrases.
The United States has copyright relations with countries throughout the world. However, not all. For a full list of those countries, check out this article.
Having an experienced entertainment attorney well versed in intellectual property rights, especially copyrights, can make all the difference in your creative and financial future. We offer the following copyright services:
For more information on copyrights, check out these third-party resources: