When a company wants to protect its intellectual property, it may consider registering a copyright. A copyright protects original works and it provides the copyright holder with several exclusive rights.
Copyright overview and registration
Copyright holders have the right to reproduce the work, create derivative works, distribute copies and display the work, among other rights. They can authorize others to exercise these rights as well.
The length of copyright protection depends on when the work was created. If the work was created on or after January 1, 1978, the copyright is effective for the life of the author plus 70 years after the author’s death.
The copyright can be protected by registering it with the U.S. Copyright Office. Registration is necessary if a company needs to enforce its rights through litigation. It also helps copyright owners to seek monetary damages, provides the public with notice about who owns the work and keeps a record of the work.
Copyright infringement occurs when the work is reproduced, distributed or made into a derivative work without the owner’s permission. Sometimes, copyright infringement can occur when a copyright owner allows another party to use the work and that party exceeds its rights under the arrangement.
Also, in recent years, technology has made it easier for copyrighted materials to be accessed by unauthorized users, putting the company who owns the copyright at risk.
If a company needs more information about copyrights or pursuing a claim for copyright infringement, an experienced attorney can help.