Copyrights give the creator or author the right to control how their original works are used via reproduction, distribution, and performance or adaptation. Copyrights can apply to many types of creative works including novels, music, audio recordings, video and cinema, and photography. Copyrights also apply to works such as software, business manuals, and many other types of works. The bar for what can be copyrighted is very low and works must only possess a minimal degree of creativity to qualify. Works possess copyright protection the instant they are created; registration is not required unless a party intends to sue for copyright infringement. Copyrighted works are protected for seventy years after the death of the author.
In order to claim a copyright, your work must:
- Be fixed, meaning it is in the form of a tangible medium like words on a page or audio files
- Be original
- Include at least minimal creativity
While you do not have to register with the U.S. Copyright Office to obtain copyrights, the best way to prevent others from using your copyrighted works is to register them and include a copyright notice. This will help deter others from using your work and can help you seek damages if your work is used illegally.
While most people think copyrights apply to writers and other artists, copyrights can protect many other business interests. Everything from architectural designs to employee handbooks and licensing agreements is eligible for protection under copyright law.
Although copyright protects creative works, some individuals or businesses might infringe anyway, intentionally or unintentionally. When this happens, having a registered copyright goes a long way. With the help of a Houston intellectual property attorney, you can not only put a stop to copyright infringement, but also possibly obtain damages for the infringement.
Copyright Attorneys In Houston
The experienced attorneys at Adair Myers Graves Stevenson help individuals and companies draft and file copyright registrations with the U.S. Copyright Office to ensure protection in the event of copyright infringement. We can also help when another individual or business is using your copyrighted work without your permission. With more than 40 years of legal experience, our attorneys can provide peace of mind that your creative works are being safeguarded. Contact us today to see how we can help protect your intellectual property.