a wireless company has my music, without my knowledge.
If they are actually using it then you may have an action for copyright infringement. You should make sure you get the music copyrighted ASAP and then you can pursue other options to prevent unauthorized use.
Again, asap. If the company copyrights the music before you do, you can still win but it will be a much much much bigger hassle.
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Trademark Application Attorney
I am not sure what you mean by "wireless company"?
If you authored the music (composed it, wrote the lyrics, performed it, etc), then this company is committing copyright infringement and you would be entitled to compensation.
I also wanted to clarify that If this company has no claim for copyright ownership over the music, then it may not copyright the work and I doubt it would try.
You should see a copyright lawyer to make sure you get the best compensation possible from this and make sure to register the copyright of your music.
Contact an intellectual property lawyer in the Little Rock area ASAP to get a consultation and advice on your specific situation ASAP. You can use the attorney search feature here on AVVO to find many fine options to choose from. Don't wait because time may be running out but you won't know until you sit down with somebody. Good luck.
I am not your lawyer and an answer on AVVO is not intended as legal advice but is provided for general informational purposes only. If you desire legal advice, please consult a lawyer and form an attorney client relationship.
You own the copyright on the music from the moment you created it. However, in order to get statutory damages and in order to bring a claim, you must register it. You can do tht your self by going to copyright.gov, though you may be well served to have an attorney do it. Then you need an attorney who does copyright litigation or you need an experienced federal court litigator who will consult with a copyright attorney.
You can recover attorneys fees as well if you win, and if you can prove infringement you should win.
The catch is that any usage prior to registration, is subject only to actual damages, i.e., money you lost and profits the company gained, while infringement after registration allows you to recover statutory damages. Depending on whether the violation is willful or unintentional and other factors, those can run from $200 to $150,000.
Intellectual Property Law Attorney
The most important step is to hire a copyright attorney.
Here is why: What you can do about this likely depends on how the "wireless company" (do you mean "cellular phone company" or do you actually mean Belkin or Linksys or Netgear which supply "wireless equipment" or do you mean Charter or Comcast or some ISP?) got this music. And what do you mean by "has", that they have a CD they bought, that they are broadcasting it, that they are playing it in ads, that they have it posted for download, or what? And, how do you know it is really "yours"? You might have NO right to officially register the copyright. For example if you are an employee of the wireless company, were specially commissioned by the wireless company, or assigned your copyright to the wireless company. A copyright attorney should be able to advise you.
I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.