What is a Copyright?
A copyright is an exclusive right in the copyright owner to reproduce the work in copies, prepare derivative works based upon the work, distribute copies, and perform and display the work publicly.
Protect Your Original Work.
A copyright protects authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. A copyright also protects original works of authorship in two-dimensional creative works such as advertisements, commercial prints, labels, stationary, greeting cards, artwork, cartoons, architectural and technical drawings, computer programs, website content, and weaving and fabric designs.
A copyright also protects original works of authorship in three-dimensional works such as jewelry and belt buckle designs, artificial flowers and plants, stained glass, relief and intaglio prints, sculpture, models, games, and puzzles.
Copyright law typically does not protect names, titles, short phrases or slogans, though there may be some very limited exceptions.
Take Advantage of Copyright Registration.
Copyrights are established as soon as the author fixes an original work in tangible form such as an image on paper, film, computer, or any other tangible material.
However, certain legal advantages of copyright can be obtained only by timely filing of a copyright application with the United States Copyright Office.
By registering the copyright, the author secures a Certificate of Registration which allows the author to sue for copyright infringement in federal court. No suit for infringement of a copyright can proceed prior to obtaining the Certificate of Registration.
Be Timely and Protected.
Copyright registration within three months of first publication or before infringement occurs makes it much easier to sue and recover money from an individual or entity that infringes on your copyright. Timely registration creates a legal presumption that your copyright is valid and may allow you to recover up to $150,000 (and possibly lawyer fees) without having to prove any actual monetary harm.
Registration of the copyright within five years of first publication is evidence of validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the Certificate.
Registration of the registered copyright with the United States Customs Service enables the Customs Service to prevent the importation of goods that infringe on your copyrights.