Understanding Copyrights

A copyright is a form of intellectual property protection provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including: literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other types of intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Copyrights give the author the exclusive rights to do themselves, and to authorize others the right to:

  • 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, motion pictures, and other audiovisual works
  • In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission
  • And more . . .

Although there are inherent protections in any original work of authorship, obtaining a copyright on a work also gives you statutory damages if your work is infringed. Absent a registration, proving damages for infringement is much more difficult. Furthermore, copyrights are extremely inexpensive – relative to patents or trademarks.

Contact Plager Schack LLP® at (714) 698-0601 and learn about the legal process for obtaining and enforcing your copyright. Let our firm work for you.