Protecting your copyrightable material is imperative in today’s digital age. Competitors can easily steal the content you’ve created and pass it off as their own and/or profit from it. The U.S. Copyright Act protects writings, motion pictures, and other dramatic, musical, and choreographic works, as well as graphic arts, architectural design, software, and other forms of creative expression. However, in order to protect your content through litigation, you need to register it with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Copyright law is complicated, and the protection that it provides applies uniquely to each specific case. If someone is copying your work and it is hindering your ability to earn wealth, seek the legal representation of a copyright attorney at Bogin, Munns & Munns. Our Orlando Commercial Law Lawyers specialize in intellectual property law to best serve the interests of the creator.
In addition, our copyright lawyers can help if you have been accused of copyright infringement. There are many viable defenses against copyright infringement, and a copyright lawyer can prove helpful in defending such allegations. While the legal standards which govern copyright infringement are well-established, the application of those standards to the facts of a particular dispute often requires as much creativity as the underlying works themselves.
To get in touch with our Orlando attorneys today, call us at (407) 578-1334 or fill out the form on our online contact page.
When Copyright Law Comes into Play
Copyright law is intended to protect your intellectual property and preserve your right to profit from and control the items you create. There are some exceptions outlined below, but you generally have rights over your property the moment it is instantiated. This includes the following rights, as listed by the Copyright Society of the USA:
- Creating copies of the work you created
- Distributing/selling copies of the work you created
- Showing the work you created in public
- Changing, adapting, or otherwise making alterations/derivative works based on the work you created
For example, let’s say you created a written work, like a novel or play. You automatically own the rights to this work. If someone else obtained the manuscript and sold, distributed, performed, or gave away copies of it without your permission, you may have a claim to copyright infringement. If someone wrote a derivative work based on that novel or play, such as an alternative story set in the world you created and told from the villain’s perspective, that is also grounds for a copyright lawsuit.
In the corporate world, copyright law often comes into play regarding logos, slogans, trademarks, recipes, and similar intellectual property. As Orlando copyright enforcement and litigation attorneys, Bogin, Munns & Munns can help you protect your rights over your creation, stop others from taking advantage of your product or property, and even take your case to court if necessary.
Fair Use Exceptions
Though it may seem like copyright law is meant solely to protect owners’ rights to their material, it is also designed to benefit society as a whole through the development of new works, techniques, patents, and other sources of information. The idea is that, by protecting owners’ rights to their work, society provides a greater incentive for people to create intellectual property, since they may also be able to profit off of it. However, this also means that not all instances of someone else using your material qualify as a violation of the law.
The “Fair Use” section of the Copyright Act sets forth four criteria by which each instance of alleged copyright infringement is judged. In order to be an acceptable use of other’s material, it must fit these criteria, as provided by the Digital Media Law Project (DMLP):
- Instead of commercial gain, the purpose of using the work must be for educational purposes, criticism, or for the general public good.
- The nature of the work in question should be suitable for fair use. Usually, factual accounts that need to be quoted in another article, for example, are more protected than the use of quotes from fiction.
- The portion of the work that is used should be relatively small in most cases. Think about the use of a chapter, rather than the text from an entire book.
- Using the work should not have a detrimental effect on the original owner/creator’s market potential. If the use in question could lead to the creator being unable to profit from their creation, then it probably will not be considered fair use.
Courts have to weigh these four elements when deciding whether copyright infringement was committed. The ability to profit off the material, whether the purpose is for educational or personal gain, as well as how much copy is used and whether using it in such a way will reduce your ability to profit off your work, are all crucial considerations.
That’s why you need skilled legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns. Our Orlando copyright enforcement and litigation lawyers have the know-how and experience to ensure that your rights are protected and that you retain control over your intellectual property.
Get Consultation for Your Copyright Case Today
At Bogin, Munns & Munns, our Orlando copyright enforcement and litigation attorneys offer consultation to discuss the details of your claim. Call our office at (407) 578-1334 to schedule your consultation today. You can also enter your information online via the form on our contact page, and a member of our team will respond as soon as possible.