Search

What Exactly is a “Copyright”?

*****Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and is for educational purposes only. This does not create an attorney-client privilege.


It is common to hear someone refer to something being “copyrighted”, but what exactly does that mean? Copyright is a type of intellectual property law that legally protects original works of authorship, both published and unpublished, that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. The key here is “tangible”; copyrights can not protect ideas, facts, systems, or modes of operation, yet they can be used to protect the way these things are protected.



Forms of expression that may fall under the purview of a copyright include literary, artistic, musical, and dramatic works. These include books, poetry, works of prose, artwork that is affixed in tangible form (such as drawing, painting, sculpture, etc.), songs, movies, scripts, architecture, software programs, and more.


So now that you know what exactly falls under the purview of copyright protection, you may be wondering what the process of “getting’ this protection looks like. You might be surprised to find out that any original work you create is protected by copyright from the moment it is made and fixed in a tangible form; i.e., it cannot still be an idea, but must be able to be perceived either directly or through ‘the aid of a device or machine’.


Every original work, made with some minimum level of creativity, falls under copyright protection due to a clause in the Constitution in Article I Section 8- Patent and Copyright Clause. This clause gives Congress the ability to “promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their writings and discoveries.” This right to protection is also tied to the First Amendment. Your work is protected, in theory, as intellectual property, no matter the merit of the creation or even if you sell the physical work/product. However, being a protected right does not equate to always holding up in court without proof authenticating its origin.


Although you technically do not need to register your work with the Copyright Office for it to fall under protection, you should if you want to be able to effectively litigate someone for copyright infringement. By registering, you are placing the facts and timeline of your copyright on public record and can provide proof with the certificate of registration. Once your work is registered, you can be eligible for statutory damages, plus attorney fees, in cases of successful litigation. You should register your work within five years of its creation ideally, because if you do, it is considered prima facie evidence. This means that it holds up in court as “sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption unless otherwise disputed”. In other words, it is a very strong and effective tool for protecting your original creations from those who would replicate and market it.


Though the United States has its own copyright system, we have close economic and business relationships worldwide. Thus, in general most countries honor the copyrights of our citizens, and vice versa. Yet there are certainly exceptions to this.


Sources:

https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/how-to-copyright-artwork

https://fairuse.stanford.edu/law/us-constitution/

https://www.infoworld.com/article/3532896/can-apis-be-copyrighted.html (image)


Free Educational Material

Decades of Experience Helping With These Legal Matters

Depositphotos_7149143_xl-2015.jpg
DUI's
Drug Crimes
Misdemeanors
Criminal
Defense
Depositphotos_112445602_xl-2015.jpg
Sexual Harassment
Employment
And More
Homes
Rental Properties
And More
Foreclosure
Defense
Depositphotos_27793665_xl-2015.jpg
Document Prep
Litigation
Deeds

About Our San Gabriel Law Firm

Read Our San Gabriel Law Firm's Reviews

Kevan G.

"If you need to save your home for any reason, "Rodriguez Law Group" is the one to call."

Mathews

"A bleeding heart for people --- truly a lost characteristic in our society! Thanks again for all you do!"

Karen M.

"After our initial experience and assistance ended five years ago with Patricia Rodriguez, a very important document was needed for a loan. She provided the verification and letter as quickly as possible amid the COVID crisis restrictions. J & K Morris"

Jame S.

"Rodriguez Law group is A+ professional, if you are looking for representation, contact them��. Thank you RZLG, you guys ROCK�"

Laarni

"Ms. Rodriguez treated me with respect and no condescension. I trust her judgment and advices."

Natasha R.

"I highly Recommend Rodriguez Law Group, Inc. They are dedicated and hardworking for their valued clients. Their crusade for justice is in the name of championing those who look for fairness in the law. They will fight on behalf of those they serve diligently. Top Quality Law Practice. 5 Stars Rating!"

Ronald

"Teamwork combined with knowledge and skill defines this law group. Results oriented strategy produces results while keeping the client’s best interest the goal. I give them 5 stars."

Address

7220 North Rosemead Blvd. Suite 133 

San Gabriel, CA 91775

Who We Help:

Foreclosures Real Estate Law Criminal LawPersonal Injury LawBankruptcy Law Family Law

 

We handle cases throughout Southern California, including San Gabriel, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Westlake, Santa Barbara, and their surrounding areas.

Disclaimer:

RZLG DOES NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DO ANY MODIFICATION WORK IN ANY CAPACITY. 

SUBSCRIPTION

MEMBERSHIPS