Copyright FAQ

What Is a Copyright?

Copyrights are a set of rights that may be exerted over original works, including literary pieces, musical compositions, and graphic works. Rights that are controlled by copyrights include the rights to do the following:

  • Produce and reproduce the work
  • Distribute copies or recordings
  • Sell the work
  • Display the work publicly
  • Perform the work publicly

Copyrights may be transferred among individuals or companies from the original owner through a copyright license agreement. For example, if a recording artist produces a song, that artist may transfer the right to distribute and sell that work to an agency.

What Are The Types of Copyrighted Works?

You may seek a copyright registration for a variety of types of works, including, but not limited to:

  • Sound recordings and musical works
  • Books and other literary works
  • Dramatic works
  • Pantomimes and choreographed works
  • Pictorial, graphical, and sculptural works
  • Motion pictures
  • Architectural works

Copyrights do not include things like ideas, processes, methods, titles, short phrases, slogans, familiar symbols and designs, listings of ingredients or contents, and typographic lettering. You may seek a patent or trademark for some of these things, but others are not protected. A copyright licensing lawyer can help you determine if your creative work can be protected.

How Do You Register a Copyright?

You obtain a copyright protection on your work immediately when it is created in a tangible form. That may include written, audio recorded, or otherwise fixed into a perceivable form. Although you are not required to register a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, you must do so if you wish to assert your rights in a legal forum. Thus, if you want to transfer those rights or argue copyright infringement, you must register your copyright.

Our experienced copyright licensing lawyer can help you register your copyright. We understand the process of filing an application with the U.S. Copyright Office and submitting appropriate information with your registration. You may complete the application online; however, you may also choose to submit a paper form. Additionally, you must also ensure you deposit a copy of your work.

The process of copyright registration can take up to eight months for applications submitted online and up to 10 months if you submit a paper application. However, those times can be extended if you fail to submit the proper documentation or if there is a challenge to your rights. A copyright licensing lawyer can make sure your application is complete. He can also make sure you efficiently file the appropriate information.

How Long Does a Copyright Last?

For works created after January 1, 1978, a copyright lasts 70 years after the death of the author. If the work was created by multiple authors, the copyright lasts 70 years after the death of the last surviving author’s death. For anonymous works or works created for hire, the copyright lasts 95 years from the publication or 120 years from the creation, whichever is shorter.

Works created or published prior to 1978 adhere to a complex set of copyright rules. A copyright licensing lawyer can help you make sure you have rights to your creative work in addition to ensuring those rights are protected.

What Are Copyright Licensing Agreements?

If you own a copyright or hope to obtain copyrights from someone, you may need to create a copyright licensing agreement to transfer those rights. With a copyright licensing agreement, you may choose to transfer all of your rights or specific uses to your works. Our copyright licensing lawyer can help you develop a copyright licensing agreement that meets your needs as well as protects your rights.

Copyright licensing agreements are contracts that should be developed with specific legal information in mind. They should contain the following:

  • Complete description of the work
  • Grant of license detailing rights being transferred
  • Limitations of license
  • Rights and obligations of copyright owner and licensee
  • Details of payment of royalties

The wording of these legal sections should be extremely precise. Our copyright licensing lawyer has extensive experience developing agreements that convey copyrights while protecting the rights of our clients.

How Can a Copyright Licensing Lawyer Help You?

If you are seeking a copyright or hope to transfer rights to a creative work, you need someone to guide you through the process of registration and licensing. Our skilled copyright licensing lawyer will listen to your goals and then develop legal documents that meet your needs. We will efficiently handle your copyright licensing matter. Call us today at (800) 849-1913.