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Registering a copyright to protect your works of art

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2023 | Intellectual Property Law |

It is not easy to come up with an original idea or create an original work. Fortunately, copyrights were developed to protect the rights of Florida creators. A copyright is a form of intellectual property that may be used to protect many types of work, including:

  • Literature
  • Artwork
  • Films
  • Photographs
  • Software
  • Music

The purpose of a copyright is to essentially prevent others from using your work without permission. Only the owner of a copyright has the right to:

  • Make copies of the work.
  • Distribute copies of the work to others.
  • Perform the work in a public space.
  • Put the work on public display.

The copyright generally will last for the entire lifetime of the creator, plus an additional 70 years after they pass away.

How do I get a copyright?

Before copyright protections go into effect, you will need to register it with the U.S. Copyright Office by filling out an application form, paying a filing fee and providing at least one copy of the work you are registering. The office will carefully evaluate your work and will generally take anywhere from three to 10 months to let you know whether your application was approved.

Once the copyright has been registered, you can file an infringement claim against anyone who misuses your work. If your claim is successful, you may recover damages from the infringer. However, keep in mind that the infringer may not have to pay damages if they successfully establish that their work is an original creation and that they did not copy your piece.