Many people only associate copyrights with traditional works, such as musical scores and novels. In reality, copyright protection can be sought for computer software, online videos, website content, and even social media content. In other words, copyright has gone digital.
If you’ve produced something valuable in one of these formats, you’re probably interested in guarding your asset. At Lilenfeld PC, our Atlanta-based legal team assists individuals and businesses with all facets of copyright protection. Our attorneys are also extremely efficient, which saves our clients time and expense. Once we determine your copyright goals, we strive to always be moving straight towards them.
Our clients’ copyright protection challenges can generally be divided into two categories: copyright registration and working agreements.
There’s a common misconception – even within some legal circles – that copyright registration isn’t really important. It’s true that certain works are protected by copyright law once they’ve been created in a tangible format. This, in turn, affords you with rights. However, you won’t be able to enforce those rights unless you’ve registered your work with the United States Copyright Office – or at least proven that you tried and were refused.
If someone infringes your work and it hasn’t been registered, you won’t be allowed to bring a suit against the infringer. You can rush to register the work at that time, but you’ll likely be unable to recover money damages or attorney fees.
Also, despite what you may have heard, the act of mailing your own work to yourself does not provide any copyright protection. This practice, often referred to as “poor man’s copyright,” has no legal effect, even if the envelope is time-stamped. Unfortunately, the only way to actually register your work is through the Copyright Office.
Our firm can help identify assets that you might want to consider for copyright registration. If you decide to register, we’ll be happy to complete the proper application for you and then file with the Copyright Office.
Relatively speaking, registration is simpler for copyrights than it is for trademarks. However, many of our clients have time constraints, and our assistance allows them to focus on other pressing matters.
If you hire someone who will be involved in creating copyrightable works, it’s important that you consider your rights. Our attorneys can draft employee or independent contractor agreements that help protect your interest in these “works made for hire.” We can even draft similar contracts for joint venture scenarios. This allows you to move forward confidently with your new working arrangement.
Want to learn more about our copyright protection services? Get in touch with us at (404) 201-2520.