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So You Want to Copyright? Here is What You Need to Know

Copyrighting an idea or work can be an exciting process. For many, it is the beginning of a series of innovations and creative works to be claimed and protected for years upon years to come. For as exciting and commonplace as it is to get a copyright for a work, many do not know where to even begin. Fortunately, the process is rather simple, and an intellectual property attorney can help guide you through it.

What is a Copyright?

In the process of getting your copyright, it is important to know why you are seeking the legal protections of your work. What is a copyright, and what does it ensure?

When someone authors a creative work, whether it is art, literature, music, film, or software, they typically seek the rights to protect it from being stolen or unfairly taken and reproduced. The rights attached to a creative work that allows the creator to redistribute, reproduce, display and perform, or derive from and expand, are the rights a copyright ensures the creator maintains.

The work has to be independently created, it needs to be creative, which is a fairly loose requirement. The final criteria is that the work must be fixed. By fixed, the work is attached to a specific tangible medium of expression, such as a movie, or a painting, or a book.

Establishing Your Copyright

Actually establishing and implementing your copyright is easy work, when you get the hang of the idea. It all begins with the application form. Send in a copy of the work you have created. This cannot be retrieved, and will stay with the copyright office. You can send in a book, a work of art, a recording, etc. You must pay any fees required, but once you have sent in your work, it is just a matter of time before you find out if you qualified for a copyright.

Knowing Your Rights Under a Copyright

Once your copyright is obtained, it is important to keep up with any updates necessary to keep your work protected. Which protections are offered to a copyrighted work? Simply put, the copyright enables and allows the creator the rights to reproduce the work. Copies of the creative work can only be controlled by the copyright holder. The copyright holder can also decide to create derivative work, such as sequels. Public performances and public displays are also controlled by the creator. What is not necessarily controlled is the aspect of fair use, which is where the legal issues can become complicated.

Calling on the Right Team to Answer Your Questions

Admittedly, it is a simple and straightforward process to copyrighting a project. The application lays it out simply, and the wait is minimal. Still, there are more minute details that a creator might want to ensure and protect. If you are seeking the guidance of legal professionals in copyrighting your work, contact our team of seasoned intellectual property and business attorneys. At SAC Attorneys LLP, we pride ourselves in helping first-time copywriters get all the nitty gritty information they need to protect their works for many decades to come. Do not hesitate to call our team with any questions and guidance needed, as well as for your free consultation at (386) 755-1977.

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