Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Copyrights 101 - Why Register?

Welcome Back! Sorry to take a few day break - but sometimes we are at the mercy of our tools!

It's time to discuss a popular topic - COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION. We've looked at timing and what a copyright is, but now the big question "How Do I Register My Copyright With the US Copyright Office." Things are not as simple as they appear and that is what I hope you will get from this information. Yes, the copyright forms are 1 or 2 pages and it appears as if you are checking a box...or are you?!

Here is a copy of an article that I enjoy using and a great reminder:

  • Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.
  • Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U. S. origin.
  • If made before or within 5 years of publication, registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.
  • If registration is made within 3 months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney's fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.
  • Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U. S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies.

Some of these bullets make look familiar from our "Time" discussion. However, they are important reminders. Registering your copyrights can be a chore, but one well worth the time. Many of our clients have a "routine" and once they items are created they are registered based on the individual client registration strategy.

Registration is also important if you plan on licensing your art. Many licensees want to see a registration certificate.

We'll next look at what it takes to register a copyright, but we felt is was important to remind you of why you need to do so. And DO NOT WORRY if you haven't registered anything in the past, you have to start somewhere.

Thanks again for your patience and enjoy the Fall!

Create with Your Heart and Your Head!


1 comment:

Robin Beam said...

I guess I've better start SOON, huh!? Your Pearly Buddy! R.

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Since there may be legal discussions going on...there must be a disclaimer!

This blog is for educational and information purposes only. It does not constitute the practice of law. The attorney who writes this blog is only licensed in the State of Ohio and Michigan. There is NO attorney-client relationship of any type. You must sign appropriate documenation and have appropriate new client counseling to be a client of Browning-Smith, P.C. Each and every situation is different and all readers must seek his or her own legal counsel. The information on this blog is not guaranteed for any purposes nor is it to be relied on.