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Intellectual Property Law

Copyright Lawyer Referrals

If you would like to hire a copyright attorney, contact Attorney Search Network now.

Copyrights are a type of intellectual property right and the laws governing copyrighting protect the authors of the original works. United States copyright law stems from the federal law, the Copyright Act of 1976, that became effective at the start of 1978. The Copyright Act is overseen by the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.

State copyright laws govern certain works that are not protected by The Federal Copyright Act. States are not allowed to create their own legislature that go beyond the term of protection available under the Copyright Act, which protects “works of authorship.” According to the Copyright Act, works include all of the following: literary, musical, dramatic, pantomime, choreographic, pictorial, architectural, sculptural, graphic, multimedia, motion picture, and various kinds of audiovisual works.

To be eligible for protection by copyright law, a work has to be original and fixed within a concrete means of expression. In terms of copyright law, “original” is defined as being originated by its author and not copied from a different source. A “fixed” work is one that is “sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more than transitory duration.” Public domain works are those that are not eligible to receive copyright protection or have had their copyright protection expire. If a work fits the requirements of being both original and fixed in a tangible means of expression, then it is automatically protected by copyright laws. It is optional for such a work to be registered with the Copyright Office. Registration with that office is however necessary prior to filing an infringement lawsuit. For works disseminated after March 1, 1989, copyright notice is no longer mandatory. By law, individuals’ works have a copyright period of time equal to the length of the author’s life and an additional 70 years.

Copyright owners have the following rights in the copyrighted work:

An infringer is a person who countermands the above rights of a copyright owner. A copyright owner whose work is used without his or her permission has the right to receive compensation for copyright infringement. Federal district courts can grant injunctions to stop copyright infringement and to demand that infringing copies be destroyed.

There are exemptions to the rights of a copyright owner that enable people to use a copyrighted work. Copyrights do not cover ideas, facts, measurements, business names, book titles, processes, and fair use.

If you think that the copyright of your work is not being properly protected or has been infringed upon, if you are not sure if someone has the legal right to a limited use of your work, or if you need help with the copyrighting process, a copyright law attorney can be of assistance. Contact Attorney Search Network to find a top copyright lawyer who will ensure that your copyrights are protected.

Contact Attorney Search Network for a Lawyer Referral in your local area with Copyright expereince.