Copyright - Common Misconceptions

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This is a departure from my typical blog, but it is a good opportunity to provide some basic information. As part of my practice I often have clients or referrals for clients seeking copyright protection for something they have created or plan on creating. What I have discovered is that there are some common misconceptions surrounding copyrights in the United States. Below are a few of the most common.

1. Misconception: You must register a work with the Copyright Office to obtain a copyright.

A copyright automatically exists the moment a new work is created (sufficiently original content fixed in some tangible form). No additional action is required to obtain a copyright in the United States. While it is not required, it is a good idea to register a work with the Copyright Office for numerous reasons (to be discussed in a later blog). If a work is published, the work should be registered shortly after publication (for reasons that will also be discussed in a later blog). “Publication” has a broad definition; a work is published for copyright purposes when copies are sold, given away, posted, distributed or made available in any other way to the public. “Public” is equally broad and can include very few people.

Please see full article below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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