Experienced Copyright Attorney Protecting Portland Creations
Copyright protection affords the creators of original works protection against unauthorized use of their work. This also provides a vehicle for licensing or assignment or sale of rights to an original work. If you have created something, whether it is a book, song, play, film, graphic design, fabric pattern, sculpture or architectural drawing, among many other things, you hold a copyright in whatever you created. However, to fully protect your work and stop others from using it without permission, you need to register it and enforce it.
- Copyrights are extremely valuable. They allow you to have control over who uses your creation and how it is used.
- Copyrights can generate revenue through licensing (think of this as renting the work) or assignment (think of this like selling it).
- This begins by registering your work with the US Copyright Office, which is part of the Library of Congress. Our office provides copyright registration on flat fees.
- Once your work is registered, you are able to sue someone if they use your work without your permission. This also allows you access to statutory damages of up to $150,000 per violation for willful copyright infringement.
- If necessary, we represent you in court in copyright infringement actions and get you the damages you deserve.
- If someone is suing you for copyright infringement, one of our copyright infringement attorneys will represent you as well.
- For more detailed information please see below.
How Long Does A Copyright Last?
For the most part, copyright protection provides protection during the life or lives of the author(s) and an additional 70 years after the death of the final author.
Is Publication Required Before I Can Register My Copyright?
Publication of the work is not required to display the copyright “©” symbol. However, federal registration does afford the owner remedies not available without registration.
What If I Want To Use Someone Else’s Work?
The examples I always use to answer this question are a filmmaker who wants to use a song in their film, or that same filmmaker wants to adapt a book into a movie. Under both of these examples the filmmaker would have to obtain a license to lawfully use the musician’s song or author’s book to not engage in copyright infringement.
How Does This Work In The Modern Age Of The Internet?
When it comes to the internet and copyright, there is a lot of misinformation out there. First and foremost, just because something is on the internet doesn’t mean it is not protected by copyright or that it is in the public domain. Beware of committing internet copyright infringement.
For example, a musician may put a video on YouTube of a song they wrote and performed. Even though that video can be viewed on the internet without engaging in copyright infringement, it does not permit a person to download it or as in the previous example, use it in a movie without obtaining a license from the musician.
Another example of problems created by the internet and copyright are copyright troll cases. These are lawsuits brought, frequently, by film studios against hundreds and sometimes thousands of people, alleging that they illegally downloaded a movie they hold the copyright to. Often the studios have nothing more than an IP (internet protocol) address, but after filing a lawsuit, they haul these people into court in an effort to extort money from them. Many of these people have done nothing more than subscribe for internet service and have a Wi-Fi network. If an experienced copyright infringement attorney is retained early, these cases can often be dismissed before people’s names and personal information are even linked to the lawsuit.
Whether it is registration of your copyright, licensing, enforcement or defense, you will want to consult with a copyright attorney who can protect your rights.