The growing ubiquity of the internet as a resource for all kinds of works, coupled with some popular sentiment turning against copyright owners, only serves to reinforce the necessity of copyright protection. Copyright protects original works such as books, short stories, poems, paintings, sketches, drawings, including architectural works, photographs, music scores, sound recordings and movies, as well as other artistic or literary works by providing the creators of those works the exclusive right to make and distribute copies of the works, perform or display the works publicly and to make derivative works. Those copyright owners can then license or assign those rights to others, but the key purpose of copyright law is to preserve the creator’s ability to control what happens to his or her works.
Creation and Registration
Copyright is created whenever an original work becomes affixed in a tangible medium. The creator of such a work automatically receives the copyright protection to the work, absent an agreement otherwise. However, before the copyright holder can sue for copyright infringement or collect statutory damages, he or she must register the copyright with the United States Copyright Office. Our attorneys assist copyright holders with registering their interests with the Copyright Office, ensuring that they are ready to defend those interests against infringing uses.
Creators of works have a vested interested in protecting them against those who would create revenue streams by appropriating the work of others. If another party exploits an exclusive right without a copyright holder’s permission, that copyright has been infringed. The copyright holder can then bring an infringement action against the infringing party and must prove both that the infringing work is substantially similar to the copyrighted work and that the alleged infringer had access to the work. There are no clear guidelines for deciding whether two works are substantially similar, so it’s important to have experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel to help sort fair use from copyright abuse.
Understanding Needs and Protecting Interests
Our attorneys are well-versed in assisting clients in registering their copyright interests and defending those interests or their business. We work with clients to understand their copyright needs and develop the most enduring and comprehensive methods available to protect their works. When copyrights are threatened, we work diligently and aggressively to litigate the claim. Our copyright experience is vast and includes everything from entertainment and literary works up to toys and sculptures.
Take the First Step to Success
To discuss the ways our attorneys can assist your business with registration of a copyright or to learn more about your legal issue that may lead to copyright infringement litigation, contact the firm online.
News & Insights
- March 3, 2020
- Business Lexington, October 2019, September 26, 2019
- December 3, 2018
- Louisville Business First, December 29, 2017
- Chambers USA 2016 recognizes McBrayer attorneys as 'Leaders in their Field'Chambers USA, March 29, 2016
- Jack A. Wheat joins the firm's Louisville OfficeJanuary 4, 2016
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- IP 101: A Non-Specialist’s Guide to the Basics of Intellectual Property LawKentucky Bar Association Annual Convention, June 21, 2017
- IP 101: A Non-Specialist’s Guide to the Basics of Intellectual Property LawKentucky Bar Association Annual Convention, June 16, 2010
- They're Coming to Steal Your IdeasLouisville Business First, March 18, 2016