Copyright is an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression; such as a song, book, or sound recording.
What is the difference between a trademark and a copyright?
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. Examples of well-known trademarks include NIKE, CHANEL and ZYRTEC.
What is a "Poor Man's Copyright?"
The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a "Poor Man's Copyright." There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration. In the event of an infringement lawsuit it may not even be admissible to prove creation and ownership of the work.
Do I need a lawyer to file a copyright application?
NO. Anyone may complete the forms provided at www.copyright.gov and mail to the Copyright Office. There is also a new e-file option available on their website.
Where do I file a copyright application?
Copyright applications may be filed through the U.S. Copyright Office.
More information is available at: www.copyright.gov
Which copyright form should I use?
The Copyright Office has transitioned to an online filing system to replace the old TX, SR, PA, CON, etc paper forms.
What does it cost to file a copyright application?
The current filing fees charged by the Copyright Office are $45 per hard copy application or $35 per e-file application. This does not include any legal fees or postage that may be charged by a lawyer.
Do I need to register my work to have copyright protection?
The short answer is No. Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within 5 years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law.
What are the rights of a copyright owner?
* To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
* To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
* To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
* To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
* To display the copyrighted work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
* In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.