Essay Example on US Copyright Applications

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US Copyright Applications A copyright is a type of legal protection that is provided in the US for authors of original works These original works are creative in nature including music lyrics books photos articles videos pantomimes choreography architectural plans or drawings buildings and other work that exists in a fixed format The categories are viewed quite openly As examples Code written to make computer programs is registered as literary work Maps are registered pictorial graphic and sculptural work Architectural plans drawings and the buildings that are built from them are also pictorial graphic and sculptural work Dances can be a choreographic work when they are written and are an audio visual work when they are filmed The author of an original creative piece of work automatically acquires basic copyrights when the work is made tangible A work is made tangible when it is documented drawn or audio video recorded so a fixed format is created The quality of the work in its initial tangible state is not important Scribbling on the back of a napkin a pencil sketch on typing paper or a recording with a cell phone all constitute making the work tangible Constructing a skyscraper or making a million dollar movie are also making work tangible You can t copyright an idea It has to be made tangible in a concrete format It does not matter if the work has been published or not It can be copyrighted either way The copyright application makes an official claim of ownership on that original material

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The copyright protects the work from being used without the author s consent The holder of a copyright can consent or withhold their consent from anyone who would like to copy perform or otherwise use the copyrighted work Advantages of Registering Your Copyright Not every creative work requires a copyright It is best to consult your copyright attorney to determine if your creative work is best protected by a copyright Once your work has been copyrighted there are several advantages Public Record A copyright establishes the official public record of the claim of your ownership of your works The copyright records with the USPTO are public If anyone uses your copyrighted materials without your consent you are able to take legal actions to counter against the infringement If you register within 3 months of the publication date of your work or before any infringement you can seek statutory damages as well as your attorney fees in a federal court action If you have not registered you can only be awarded your actual damages which can be hard to prove If you register a copyright within 5 years of publishing your work it still establishes evidence that is considered sufficient in federal court The copyright will still be considered valid based on the facts on the certificate You can record the copyright registration with the US Customs and Border Protection agency which protects against anyone importing copies of your work into the country Creative professionals of all sorts can benefit from copyrighting their works Artists architects authors choreographers film producers and many others will benefit from protecting their works through a copyright registration Scope of Your Protection with a Copyright Once your work has been copyrighted you generally have the exclusive rights to use the work yourself or authorize others to use it There are several ways creative works can be used and protected under copyright laws Any reproduction of the work Preparation of any derivative works that are based on the work Distribution of any copies to the public in any format Public performances Public displays In the case of a sound recording performance by digital transmission Time Frames For any work that was created after January 1 1978 the protection of the copyright lasts 70 years after the death of the author If there is more than one author it is 70 years after the death of the longest survivor For works performed under pseudonyms or anonymously and any works that were made for hire the protection lasts 95 years from the first publication or 120 years from the initial creation whatever is sooner Limits on Your Copyright Protection

These three limits will apply to your copyright protection Doctrine of Fair Use This lets others use parts of your copyrighted work for such purposes as completing reviews scholarship news or commentary Parts are not covered under the copyright Titles ideas names and common facts are not under your copyright protection Public domain works are available for use by anyone Works with expired copyrights are considered public domain A copyright secured on your original creative work will protect it from unauthorized use and give you the recourse to take action in a federal court if required If you feel confident you can make the application successfully it is possible to do it yourself Generally those who prefer to focus on their artistic and creative endeavours will find a professional copyright attorney managing the process for them will give them peace of mind


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