A copyright is a legal right that covers published and unpublished literary, scientific
and artistic works, whatever the form of expression, provided that the works are
fixed in a tangible means of expression. This means that if you can see it, hear
it and/or touch it - it may be protected. Whether your creation is an essay, a play,
a song, a funky original dance move, a photograph, HTML coding, a computer graphic,
a recording on tape or saved to a hard drive, it may be protected. Copyright laws
grant the creator the exclusive right to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute,
perform and display the work publicly.
When a work is fixed in a tangible means of expression, the work acquires some copyright
protection, which - like any other form of property or business asset - can be bought,
sold, licensed, etc. However, to acquire full rights, an author should file with
the national Copyright Office to obtain a copyright registration.
WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU?
West & Associates can prepare and file the appropriate copyright application for
you in the United States Copyright Office. Additionally, our firm can handle the
licensing, assignment or any other business transaction related to your Copyright.
Furthermore, our attorneys can competently advise you on your legal rights related
to your original work.
Unlike Trademark Applications, a search of the copyright office database is not required
prior to filing a Copyright application. The reason behind this is that copyright
protection extends only to the expression of the idea and not the idea itself. This
is why two professors at two different schools can write two books on the same topic–the
ideas in the books are not protected, but rather the way the ideas are presented.
If you would like to search for ownership information on particular copyrights,
you can access records at www.copyright.gov