Hartmans Law copyright attorneys advise companies and individuals who create, own, and use copyrightable works. Firm attorneys work with his clients, both US and international, to secure copyright protection by obtaining US copyright registration for software, media, and other unique works.
Leveraging intellectual property ownership is an essential strategy for many businesses. Hartmans Law advises companies, individuals, and investors regarding transactions involving copyrighted works, drafting software development agreements, software license and assignment agreements, product license agreements, and work for hire agreements.
A copyright is “the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material.”
Copyrightable works include works of authorship, like literary, musical, and dramatic works, and artistic works, such as novels, movies, songs, drawings, photographs, and software code.
A copyright protects a work the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. No registration is required.
A copyright can be registered in the United States by submitting an application to the US Copyright Office. Unlike a trademark registration or patent registration, the rights afforded by a US Copyright Registration extend to many foreign jurisdictions, by treaty.
Why register a copyright if such rights are created as soon as the work is created and fixed in tangible form? Hartmans Law represents several foreign product manufacturers whose US distributors ask that their products be registered with the US Copyright office before they are sold in the US.
“[C]opyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner.” https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-definitions.html
Is it OK to use a copyrighted work without permission if you do so without financial gain?
NO. Even if you do not profit directly, you may be held liable to pay for the copyright owner’s lost profits.