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What Should I Know About the Basics of Copyright Law?


Though you likely know that copyright helps protect the works of creators, you may be surprised to learn just how important these protections are. These works are beneficial for all industries. You don’t need to be an expert in intellectual property law to see the benefits of this protection. If you’re interested in protecting your work, copyright infringement lawyers can help you get started. Keep reading to become more familiar with the fundamentals of copyright law.

What Does Copyright Protect?

Copyright protects the works that are tangible forms of expression. Generally, anything with a modicum of originality can be copyrighted, so long as it is a fixed work. A work is fixed when captured in a permanent medium by or under the author’s direction. Examples of fixed protected works include:

  • Books
  • Music
  • Paintings
  • Photographs
  • Scripts and screenplays
  • Architectural designs
  • Movies

However, copyright does not protect names or slogans, words, familiar symbols, or standard units of measurement. For example, you cannot copyright a calendar because they are considered common property because they have no known author.

What Rights Does a Copyright Owner Hold?

Copyright owners have many rights to protect their work from reproduction and theft by another author. This means they will have exclusive rights to the work they’ve produced.

For example, copyright owners have the right to reproduce the work. This means they can make copies of their work without legal repercussions. Similarly, they can use the ideas and concepts within the copyrighted material to create derivative works, such as sequels to books.

Copyright owners are also the only people who can agree for their work to be used publicly. If you have a copyrighted song, for example, and a company wants to use it in their commercial, they need to request explicit permission to use your song before agreeing to a fee in order to ensure you can receive compensation for the use of your song.

How Can an Attorney Help?

If you’re interested in copyrighting your material, you’ll need the assistance of an attorney. The process of registering your ideas can be intensive, as the application can be tough to navigate. Similarly, you will need to submit a copy of your work. This can be either an electronic or physical copy, but there are specific requirements you must follow depending on the type of work.

Whether you need help registering a copyright or protecting your existing work from those using your material without permission, an attorney can help ensure your work is protected. At CopyCat Legal, we understand how essential your original ideas and work are. Our dedicated legal team can help you navigate your copyright claim. Reach out today to learn how we can help you.

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