Copyright is one of many ways to protect an original idea from being copied or taken by someone else without your consent. But how exactly do you get your work copyrighted, and is it really worth it? Our attorneys explain why registering for copyright protection might be a good idea to help you protect your work.

What Is Copyright?

Copyrights are meant to protect any form of creative, original expression that is fixed in a tangible medium. Books, artwork, sculptures, photographs, song lyrics, a musical composition printed onto sheet music and any other work that is original (and not a duplication) can be copyrighted.

Once something is copyrighted, the owner of that particular piece of work retains control over how their work can be reproduced, shared, displayed publicly, or performed. The copyright owner may also seek legal action for copyright infringement.

How Do I Get Copyright Protection for My Work?

You may obtain copyright protection simply by publishing an original work onto a tangible, fixed medium. You may also register your work with the US Copyright Office before the date you plan to publish it, or as quickly as possible after your work is created. While the publication of your work grants you automatic copyright protection, there are many advantages to taking the time to register your work.

Why Is It Better to Register My Work With the US Copyright Office?

By registering your work, you may be better equipped to take legal action in case of infringement as well as discourage anyone thinking about using your work without permission. Because your work becomes part of the US Copyright Office Catalog, it will be searchable by the public and clearly provide public notice of your ownership.

In addition, your registration is enough to provide proof of legal ownership of your work and demonstrate the validity of your copyright (if registered within five years of publication). A copyright holder can also take legal action for copyright infringement and be entitled to not just actual damages, but also to statutory damages and attorney’s fees.

How Can I Sue Someone for Copyright Infringement?

If you believe someone is utilizing your work without your consent or infringing your copyrights, the first step should be to seek the advice of a copyright attorney. Together, you and your attorney can work to investigate exactly how your copyrights are being violated, gather enough evidence to support your case, and take your case to trial, if necessary. If your copyrighted work is registered with the US Copyright Office, you may have better chances of reaching a successful outcome. Contact the attorneys at Davis Legal, PLLC to get help with all your copyright matters by calling 919-756-6437.