When you create a work of art, write a book, craft a musical score, or produce unique work of any kind, you may feel inclined to protect your creation from theft. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, people on the internet often use the work of others for their own use. Not only is this frustrating, but others are using your unique work and possibly even profiting off your creation. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your copyrighted content from thieves. The following blog explores what you need to know about protecting your content and how copyright infringement lawyers can help you.
Understand the Limits of Copyrighted Content
Though you may be in a panic over someone else using your work, you’ll first want to understand the limits of your copyrighted content. Generally, many will be able to use the work of others under a doctrine known as fair use. This means some have the ability to use the work of others so long as it is transformative in nature. For example, if you create a short film and a Youtuber uses clips of your movie in a video to comment on and criticize your film, you will likely have no legal rights here as this falls under fair use.
However, if a student prints out copies of your novel and sells them to gain profits, you will likely be able to pursue a copyright claim for your material.
Register Your Work if You Haven’t Already
If you haven’t registered your work with the U.S. Copyright Office already, you should do so, as this will offer additional protections. While it is not necessary to copyright all work, as you are still guaranteed security for materials that are not copyrighted, registering significant materials allows you to enforce a copyright claim in a court of law. For example, only those who have previously registered their work or registered the material within one month of an infringement are eligible to recover statutory damages for copyright violations.
You can also use the copyright symbol – © – to show ownership of any works you’ve created whether they are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office or not. This symbol will often deter others from taking your work, as they do not want to experience legal issues.
Speak With a Copyright Attorney
Above all else, speaking with a copyright attorney to discuss your legal options is a great way to help protect the work you’ve created. It is unfair that artists, writers, and anyone who creates unique content can have their work stolen. A lawyer well-versed in copyright law can help you recover financial compensation to ensure that your work is protected.
At CopyCat Legal PLLC, we understand the effort you’ve put into your material. If someone is violating your rights and taking your work without permission, our dedicated legal team can help. Reach out today to discuss the details of your case with a competent attorney.