When Do I Have A Copyright?
One of the most confusing areas of the law is copyright. There are misconceptions about ownership, creation, registration and protection. In that I teach a music business class that discusses this subject extensively, I thought I would write a series of blogs to hopefully shed some light on the subject.
The first question - How do you know when you have a copyright in your work? The second question - Do you have to register your work/creation with the copyright office to establish a claim of copyright?
To answer the first question: copyright attaches the moment the creation or work is manifest into a tangible format that can be communicated to others. In legal terms, copyright protects original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Therefore, registration with the Federal Copyright Office is not required to establish a copyright. One just needs commit the work to a tangible medium, such as, paper, tape/digital audio, canvas, computer file etc.
There are, however, definite advantages to registering your work:
I hope this brief explanation provides you with a better understanding of copyright. Of course, if you have any questions regarding copyright, or need help in registering your creative work, don't hesitate to give our office a call.
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