Many laws and legal principles are confusing to amateurs, however, copyright law seems to make the most troubles. Copyright law, like other intellectual property rights, is fact specific. Therefore, if you want to protect your intellectual property, obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney is crucial. Miami copyright lawyers often spend a lot of time educating clients about infringement and other copyright issues. Educating yourself about US copyright law is important in order to understand what being a copyright holder means for your intellectual property. Read on to learn more about copyright laws and how a qualified lawyer can come to your aid.
What Is Copyright Infringement?
Copyright infringement consists of any unauthorized use of material that is covered by the US copyright law. Infringement also involves violating one of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights. Exclusive rights, among others, include reproducing or performing the copyrighted work. As a copyright holder, you have the right to reproduce the work or prepare other works based on your first work. Only you have the right to distribute copies of your work to the public and perform or display it publicly.
If you think someone has violated your exclusive rights under the US law, you will have to prove this in court by showing that you are the copyright holder, that is to say, the owner of the original work. To prove you are the owner of a particular work, you simply need to show your “authorship” fixed in a tangible medium. That medium can be an article, a book, a picture, a movie and so on. Only the person who has created the original work is a copyright holder. However, there is possible to have more holders for one work. In that case, they equally share their rights. A holder can also assign his copyright to another person, meaning that person gets all the exclusive rights of the original author, including reproduction and performance rights.
The biggest issue about copyright is who actually owns the original work. Because of this issue, many employers believe that everything created by their employees is company’s work. However, an employer or a company can’t have copyrights to their employees work unless they have previously signed an agreement in which the employees assign their copyrights to a third party, in this case, to the company they work for. These ownership issues should be identified and taken care of early. Claiming ownership over a piece of work is not enough to protect your intellectual property. For proper legal protection, you should register the original work as soon as possible.
How Can a Copyright Lawyer Come to Your Aid?
You do not have to register with the US Copyright office in order to get you ownership rights. However, without registration, you always may have to deal with infringement. Registration is critical for filing an infringement suit. If you fail to register your work because of infringement you didn’t know about, it is almost impossible to prove you are the original author. Understanding copyright laws and principles can be rather complicated. However, a qualified lawyer can help you understand these legalities and how you can protect your original work by law.