Copyright protects original works of authorship. Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright exists immediately upon creation and covers both published and unpublished works. Copyright protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. It does not protect names, logos, facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, but may protect the expression of these items.
As a copyright holder, you have a set of exclusive rights to:
- reproduce the copyrighted work,
- prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
- distribute copies of the work;
- perform the work publicly;
- display the work publicly;
- authorize others to exercise one of these exclusive rights.
The copyright in a work initially belongs to the author(s) who created the work unless it is a work made for hire. Works made for hire are important exceptions to the general rule and apply in certain limited circumstances. It is important to consider registering copyright in order to:
- establish a public record of your original work,
- deter potential infringements;
- enforce your rights through litigation;
- recoup statutory damages and attorney fees’ in court.
At MAVEN® IP, our team is dedicated to counseling on copyright issues and protecting your interests in your creative capital.