Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a county or jurisdiction that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, usually for a limited time, with the intention of enabling the creator to receive compensation related to the work.
The advancement of the internet and the growth of the exchange of data at faster speeds has made copyright protection and enforcement one of the most active areas of the law. It is more important than ever to understand your rights when it comes to the creation, licensing, distribution or sale of original work.
In the United States, Federal law (specifically, the Copyright of 1976) governs copyright law. In fact, under the “Copyright Clause” of the United States constitution, Congress is granted the power to create copyright law.
“The Congress shall have Power… to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8
United States copyright law is contained in Chapters 1 through 8 and 10 through 12 of Title 17 of the United States Code.
A copyright is granted automatically to the author of an original work that qualifies for copyright protection, but the process of registering a copyright, in accordance with applicable law, provides the copyright owner additional rights, such as being able to sue and seek statutory damages when the work is infringed upon.
There are numerous exceptions and defenses to a Copyright that can be fairly complex to understand (examples: the first sale doctrine, fair use and parodies).
It is essential to understand that there are both statutory criminal and civil causes of action available to those who abuse or infringe someone’s copyright.
Our lawyers are experienced in protecting the rights of authors of work(s) subject to copyright law and we are equally skilled at advising and assisting clients with aggressively pursuing those people and businesses that infringe upon our client’s copyright rights.
Our copyright attorneys also advise clients on the numerous exceptions to federal copyright law and evaluate whether our clients’ use of certain work(s) may run afoul with the law.
In the unfortunate event that you or your business has been accused or sued of/for copyright infringement, our firm is prepared to provide you with an analysis of your legal position and defend you by utilizing all of the most advanced legal tools and recent case law at our disposal.
Do not wait to protect and defend your copyright rights, and on the flip-side, don’t sit idle when you are accused of violating someone else’s copyright.
Silverstein Legal is willing and able to guide you through this complex area of the law.
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