Tulsa Copyright Attorneys
You have worked hard to create something new. Whether it is a work of art, literature, music, logo, or some other creative work – you want to protect your creation. Copyright protects your creative works from someone else’s unauthorized use. While you gain some copyright protection simply by creating the work, registering your copyright with the United States Copyright Office is necessary for maximum protection.
What is Copyright?
A copyright is a legal protection giving you exclusive rights to use your creative works. Creative works include literary, artistic, educational, and musical intellectual property. The traditional copyright symbol is ©, which you are probably familiar with.
The exclusive rights to your copyrighted works include the following: reproducing the work, creating derivative works based upon the original, and distributing copies of the work for sale or other transfer, including rental, leasing, or lending.
There are some notable exceptions to these exclusive rights. For example, libraries and individuals can lend or give books or media away. This exception is available because the first sale doctrine (section 109[a] of the Copyright Act) allows owners of a legal copy of a tangible (physical) work to resell, rent, lend, or give away that copy without the copyright owner’s permission. If you have questions about other exceptions, Davis Business Law’s Tulsa attorney can help.
What Can Be Copyrighted?
Generally, you can copyright something that is an original work of authorship as soon as you fix the work in a tangible form of expression.
A work is original when a human author independently creates it and it has a minimal degree of creativity. You independently create work when you create it yourself without copying. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, to be creative, a work must have a “spark” and “modicum” of creativity.
Creative works can include the following:
- Blog posts
- Musical compositions
- Sound recordings
- Computer programs
- Architectural works
Some things are not creative. They include the following:
- Short phrases
- Familiar symbols or designs
- Mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring
- Mere listings of ingredients or contents.
Also, copyright protects expression, and not ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, or discoveries.
A work is fixed when it is captured in a sufficiently permanent medium such that it can be perceived, reproduced, or communicated for more than a short time. Generally, a work will be fixed when the author writes it down or records it.
How Long Does Copyright Protection Last?
The duration of copyright protection depends on when a work was created. Works created on or after January 1, 1978, have a copyright term equal to the life of the author plus seventy years after the author’s death. For works made for hire or anonymous or pseudonymous works, copyright protection is the shorter period of 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation.
When Should You Register a Copyright?
Copyright exists automatically in an original work of authorship once it is fixed. But registering a copyright with the Copyright Office can enhance your rights. The Copyright Office is part of the Library of Congress and maintains all U.S. copyright registration records, including a copyright catalog.
Registration is important because that step is necessary to enforce your exclusive copyright rights through litigation of an infringement action. An author must apply for registration before they can sue for infringement, even if the infringement has already occurred.
Timely registration also allows a copyright owner to seek statutory damages and attorney fees in a lawsuit. Registering also creates a public record of your claim and provides a presumption that the copyright is valid.
How a Copyright Attorney Can Help You
If you have produced a creative work, you want to protect it. Your creative works are valuable assets and you do not want others using, copying, or distributing them unless it is to your benefit. Davis Business Law’s Tulsa business attorneys can help protect your work.
We can guide you through registering the copyright. And our seasoned litigators can also handle your infringement claims. Call us today at (918) 900-0192 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Call us at (918) 900-0192 or complete the form below. Your form will be directly emailed to us for a quick reply, typically within 1 business day often within hours the same day. All information is confidential.
Meet Our Tulsa Business Lawyers
Joseph P. Titterington, Esq.
Ashley Morey, Esq.
7633 E 63rd Pl.
Tulsa, OK 74133
Davis Business Law
321 S. Boston, Suite 300
Tulsa, OK 74103