If your business relies heavily on the use of copyrights, it could be in your best interest to secure legal help for your intellectual property needs. Legal issues surrounding copyrights are often complex, and the failure to enforce your legal rights could put your business at risk.
Our team of lawyers understands this complex area of law. If you have questions about how copyright law could impact your business, an Orlando copyright lawyer with Bogin, Munns & Munns can help.
Benefits of Registering a Copyright
It is important to understand that copyright protections exist whether you register the copyright with the federal government or not. However, there are important benefits to registering your copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office. These benefits include:
Filing an Infringement Lawsuit
While there are protections for unregistered copyrights, registration allows for the pursuit of a copyright infringement claim. A lawsuit is typically only an option once registration is complete, meaning you could face serious delays before you have the right to pursue litigation.
Presumption of Validity
An important benefit that comes with registering your copyright is the presumption of validity. Part of an infringement claim involves establishing ownership of a valid copyright.
If you have successfully registered your copyright within the last five years, there is a presumption it is valid. While the other party could overcome this presumption, it puts you in a much stronger position moving forward.
Public Record of Ownership
Having your ownership of a copyrighted work as part of the public record could have its benefits. Public proof of ownership could help you avoid costly litigation by putting would-be infringers on notice that you have registered your copyright.
Eligibility for Certain Damages
If you register your copyright prior to an act of infringement, you could be entitled to specific types of monetary damages from an enforcement action. This includes statutory damages, which are available when you cannot prove that you have suffered any actual damages. You could also recover your attorney fees as well as the cost of filing your lawsuit, both of which could be substantial.
These are only a few of the reasons why registering for copyright might be in your best interest. A consultation with our firm could provide you with further insight on why registration might work out in your favor.
To consult with an experienced copyright lawyer serving Orlando, call 855-686-6752
The Registration Process
Registering for copyright consists of filing an application and providing copies of the work you intend to register. There are also fees associated with the process. An attorney from our firm could guide you through each step of the copyright registration process.
It is possible to register a copyright online through the Copright.Gov website. To complete the process, you must undertake three important steps. First, you must complete the application form provided by the copyright office. This form must be filled out completely, or you could risk a delay in your claim.
In addition to your application, you must also pay a filing fee. Lastly, you must include at least one copy of the material you intend to copyright along with the application.
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Examples of Copyright Infringement
Copyright infringement is any unlawful use of another person’s copyrighted material. Infringement is also commonly referred to as piracy or theft. It is important to remember that infringement can occur unintentionally by a person who had no idea the material they published was protected under copyright laws. Copyright covers a wide variety of works, including:
- Audio recordings
Infringement can involve the improper use of any of these mediums. Recording a movie in a theater with a handheld camera, selling bootleg copies of DVDs, or publishing a book with copyrighted illustrations are all common examples.
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Dealing with Fair Use Claims
There are some ways the public can make use of copyrighted material, no matter if you registered your copyright or not. Chief among these methods is a legal theory known as the “fair use” doctrine. The fair use doctrine carves out some important exceptions that allow another person to use your copyrighted material without your permission.
Understanding fair use is important, as the doctrine could potentially nullify your infringement claim. In other words, fair use is the limited use of copyright material that is not considered an infringement. There are four important qualifications when it comes to fair use:
- Purpose. The purpose of the work must be for educational purposes, criticism, or for the general public good. For example, using a copy of a painting to critique its design is different from using a copyrighted illustration on a promotional flyer.
- Nature of the work. The nature of what is copied is also relevant. Typically, republishing factual accounts is more likely to qualify as fair use compared to fiction or opinion.
- Portion. How much of the copyrighted work another person uses is also relevant. Fair use typically requires limited use of copyrighted works. For example, a few seconds of a movie mixed in with a review video is more likely to qualify than someone that republishes the entire film.
- No detrimental effect. Finally, fair use cannot have a detrimental effect on the copyright holder. If the use limits the creator’s ability to profit from the work, fair use will not apply.
Not every claim of fair use is valid. Before you assume another person or entity has the right to use your copyrighted material for their own purposes, consider discussing your legal options with our team.
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There are numerous issues that can arise when the publication of creative work is involved. To ensure your rights are protected, the registration and enforcement of your copyrights could be vital to your business’s success. Let the attorneys of Bogin, Munns & Munns help you protect those rights.
At Bogin, Munns & Munns, our commercial lawyers can help you register your copyright and enforce your rights as the owner. If you are dealing with infringement or simply registering your copyright with the federal government, an Orlando copyright lawyer from Bogin, Munns & Munns is here to help. For a private consultation, call 407-578-1334 as soon as possible.