Have you created a piece of intellectual property that you would like to protect?
If you’re the creative type, it’s important to make sure that others can’t pass your work off as their own. It’s also important to ensure that others are unable to use your work for their purposes. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the protection that a federally-registered copyright can provide.
This post will show you what a copyright is and how it benefits you.
What Is A Copyright?
Copyright is a filing that gives you a public record of your ownership over a creative work. It is a way to protect certain types of creative material.
You can obtain a copyright by applying to the U.S. Copyright Office. To get copyright protection over your work, there are some requirements you must meet:
- It must be an original work.
- It has to be in a tangible form — an idea cannot be protected.
- You must be able to show that you have published the work publicly.
Before registering your copyright, you must make sure that there is no other work registered that is too similar to yours. You can check the U.S. Copyright Office to search their database.
The Benefits Of Filing A Copyright
Copyright filings allow you to lay a claim to your work. It creates a public record that designates you as the owner of your intellectual property. It enables you to prove that you created your work.
When you have a registered copyright over your material, you have the right to enforce how your work is used. As the established owner, a copyright gives you the right to file a lawsuit against anyone who uses your work without your permission. This way, you can seek damages against those who steal your intellectual property.
What Can Be Copyrighted?
There are several types of creative work that can be protected by copyright. The U.S. Copyright Office mandates that copyright protects “original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works.” It does not protect inventions or anything used for branding purposes.
Here are some examples of works that can be protected by copyright:
- Literary works.
- Sound recordings.
- Artistic drawings/paintings.
- Stage productions.
For a more extensive list, visit the U.S. Copyright Office’s website.
If you wish to protect one of your creative works, filing a copyright is the best course of action. One important fact to consider is that your copyright application must be filled out the right way. Otherwise, you may not be protected in the way you desire. Consult with a qualified copyright attorney that deals with intellectual property so you can make sure you submit your application correctly.