United States Copyright San Diego

United States Copyright San Diego Summary

United States copyright registration is the best form of protection available to secure and enforce ownership rights in “original works of authorship” for certain intellectual works. Businesses most frequently utilize copyright registration for:

  • Protection of website content and other written marketing materials;
  • Protection of photographs and other visual depictions;
  • Protection of sound recordings and motion picture recordings; and
  • Protection of software source code.

Copyright protection allows the copyright owner:

  • The exclusive right to reproduce copyrighted materials;
  • The exclusive right to produce derivative works based upon copyrighted materials;
  • The exclusive right to distribute, sell, transfer, rent, lease, or lend copyrighted materials;
  • The exclusive right to perform the copyrighted materials publicly;
  • The exclusive right to display the copyrighted materials publicly; and
  • The exclusive right to transmit the copyrighted materials digitally.

Copyright Questions?

Send us an Email or call us at 858.483.9200


Michael J. Leonard helped us obtain our 501(c)(3), created our bylaws, and completed all of the necessary forms to establish a tax exempt status for our non-profit foundation. He was professional, quick, and great to work with. Mr. Leonard is also very connected in the community and has referred us to useful contacts.

Michel Sproles, Sproles Empowered Youth


My experience working with San Diego Corporate Law has been nothing short of excellent. Michael Leonard is a tremendous asset, and provided us much needed assistance when forming our insurance agency. He assisted with the formation of our corporation, buy / sell agreement, company bylaws, minutes, and stock certificates. Michael is an utmost professional that I would refer to any friend or client.

Michael Fusco, Fusco & Orsini Insurance Services, Inc.


Michael J. Leonard at San Diego Corporate Law has provided GWR valuable assistance and professional advice. As a San Diego based high tech equipment manufacturer, we appreciate that we never have to waste his or our time explaining the engineering or scientific details of our situation as his strong, hands on physics and engineering background is invaluable. We are well protected with Mike looking out for our interests.

Richard Reineman, GWR Instruments, Inc.


In 2009 San Diego Corporate Law converted my Sole Propriety Engineering Company into a “S” Corporation. My experience was painless and Mr. Leonard has done an excellent job staying in contact and continues to be a great advisor. San Diego Corporate Law comes highly recommended.

Curtis Patterson, P.E., Patterson Engineering, Inc.


Michael J. Leonard at San Diego Corporate Law is not your typical attorney experience. Michael puts his full attention into understanding your needs and provides the best solution to meet your goals. I highly recommend San Diego Corporate Law to any of my friends and associates.

Jeff A. Mudd, Best-Rate Repair Company, Inc.


Working with San Diego Corporate Law made dealing with all the paper work of incorporating and setting up my business a dream! Michael is the ultimate professional and knows corporate law inside and out! San Diego Corporate Law is always available to answer questions, assist me with follow up items, and be my go-to and support team.

Elloise Bennett, AP Test Service, LLC


Mr. Leonard is competent, dependable, and gets the work done on time and within budget. He is very responsible to his customers. We would recommend him to anyone that requires a true professional.

Lidija Skolnija, anaZana, Inc.


I was recommended to Michael to help me set up a new corporation I was starting. The advice he gave me was great, and I eventually hired his services to create the agreements and contracts between myself and my business partner. Throughout the process he guided me and asked very detailed questions. I felt that he had my back and my best interest at heart. Looking back now, the contracts he wrote have saved me close to $40,000 in money that I would have otherwise had to pay. Thank you Michael. Everyone should follow your standards.

Jason Delfos, Marketing and Advertising Design Group, LLC


We hired San Diego Corporate Law to help us establish our business in San Diego. In the initial stages of setting up our business and transitioning to California, we were frequently out of town. During this time, Michael answered questions promptly and thoroughly by phone and email. He went above and beyond to keep us on deadline for our aggressive schedule. I would not hesitate to recommend San Diego Corporate Law to another business owner.

Alicia Sorber-Gallegos, Two Men and a Truck


Having no prior experience with business law, I approached Michael to help me set up an LLC for my new company and help me review my legal disclaimers. Michael was very straightforward, honest and helpful. He took the time to explain every detail and answer all of my questions. His work was very diligent and completed exactly by the deadline promised. Michael and San Diego Corporate Law hold my highest recommendation!

Anton Ivanov, Dreams Cash True


Michael J. Leonard helped me configure my business entities into a solid investment vehicle. He is very professional, knowledgeable, easy to reach and timely. San Diego Corporate Law produced a unique and informative Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) for my business for less than half the cost other law firms were charging. I expect to use the PPM and San Diego Corporate Law for many years. I recommend Michael because of his efficient, hands on, practical approach to legal work in a time of dramatic changes with securities laws (JOBS Act).

John Copyak, Clean USA Power, Inc.


San Diego Corporate Law helped me set up MGIV Inc and get established as an S-corp in 2013. I was a one man show and didn’t have a substantial amount of money to spend to get started. I was in the process of filing for a LLC through Legalzoom.com when something didn’t feel right. I picked up the phone and asked Michael if he was available to help. This was my first business so I knew nothing about filing for a corporation or legally establishing a business. Using his knowledge and expertise he coached me toward filing for an S-corp instead of an LLC. It saved the corporation $800 in 2013 and positioned it for success based on the MGIV Communication Consulting model. I find comfort knowing that my business is in good hands. Michael is a great resource and very personable so working with him is convenient and affordable! I recommend San Diego Corporate Law to anyone needing legal assistance with their business!

Michael Gordon IV, MGIV, Inc.


When I needed to move my business from an office suite to a brick and mortar location, San Diego Corporate Law was instrumental in ensuring that the lease provisions were in my best interests. The specialized skills that Michael and his team possess, the fair and transparent fee structure, and their professional yet low pressure consultation process are the reasons why I will retain their services in the future.

Scott Weathers, Alpha Graphics La Jolla


Michael J. Leonard at San Diego Corporate Law not only helped us establish our small business in San Diego, but he helped us to solidify our partnership to avoid any gray areas as we are a family-run business. Michael was easy to work with, knowledgeable, responsive, and professional, and we will continue to use him as our company lawyer moving forward.

Karen Posner, Camp Run-A-Mutt Sorrento Valley


I have nothing but compliments to say about San Diego Corporate Law. Michael and his team have always delivered not only an extremely high level of service, but also have been so patient through the whole process of setting up our LLC. Whenever I have questions or need their service, they are very easy to communicate with and very reasonably priced. I will not only use them for any legal advice that I may need in the future, but also refer all the people that may also need their services.

Andrey Kamogari, Kamo Housing


Michael assisted us with the process of incorporating our non-profit organization. Michael was responsive to all of our questions, and sensitive to the expedited timelines that we encountered. Among the best aspects we experienced in working with Michael was his appreciation for our specific goals and his candid and honest guidance to accomplish those objectives. I would highly recommend Michael Leonard and San Diego Corporate Law.

Esther Hemmen, Mending Matters


San Diego Corporate Law has been a crucial partner for Little Black Diamond. Whether it’s routine incorporation paperwork or complex employment law, Michael is always very responsive and available to help handle our legal issues. He takes the time to understand your business and the unique issues that surround it in order to provide accurate and timely advice that considers the best interest of your business. San Diego Corporate Law is a true partner for any business.

Adam Rosenberg, Little Black Diamond, LLC

United States Copyright San Diego Details

Copyrights Generally

The 1976 Copyright Act gives the owner of a copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to:

  • Reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
  • Prepare derivative works based upon the work;
  • Distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
  • Perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audio-visual works;
  • Display the 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 audio-visual work;
  • In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

Authors of certain works of visual art have the rights of attribution and integrity. 17 United States Code § 106(A).

Copyright laws make it illegal for any person or entity to violate the rights provided by to the owner of a copyright. These rights are limited in scope, and several specific exemptions from liability exist. 17 United States Code § 106-121. One such limitation is the doctrine of fair use. 17 United States Code § 107.

Copyright Ownership

Copyright protection begins when a work is created in a fixed form. Thus, the copyright in a work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author or persons or entities deriving rights through the author may rightfully claim ownership to a copyright.

Where an employee prepares a work within the scope of his or her employment, or if a work is specifically ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, a part of a motion picture or other audio-visual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation, an instructional text, a test, answer material for a test, or an atlas, and if the parties expressly agree in a signed writing that the work was for hire, then the employer and not the employee is considered to be the author with the ability to claim copyright ownership. 17 United States Code § 101.

Authors in a joint work are co-owners of the copyright unless there is an agreement to the contrary. Copyright ownership of a separate contribution to a periodical or other collective work is distinct from the copyright that exists on the collective work as a whole.

Ownership of a book, DVD, or CD-rom does not give the possessor copyright ownership. Such a possessor does not have the right to the protected work beyond the material object that contains or embodies the protected work and does not convey rights beyond the ability to transfer ownership of the material object.

National Origin of the Work

Copyright protection is available for all unpublished works, regardless of the nationality or domicile of the author. Published works are eligible for copyright protection in the United States if:

  • On the date of first publication, one or more of the authors is a national or domiciliary of the United States, or is a national, domiciliary, or sovereign authority of a treaty party, or is a stateless person wherever that person may be domiciled; or
  • The work is first published in the United States or in a foreign nation that, on the date of first publication, is a treaty party. For purposes of this condition, a work that is published in the United States or a treaty party within thirty days after publication in a foreign nation that is not a treaty party shall be considered to be first published in the United States or such treaty party, as the case may be; or
  • The work is a sound recording that was first fixed in a treaty party; or
  • The work is a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work that is incorporated in a building or other structure, or an architectural work that is embodied in a building and the building or structure is located in the United States or a treaty party; or
  • The work is first published by the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies, or by the Organization of American States; or
  • The work is a foreign work that was in the public domain in the United States prior to 1996 and its copyright was restored under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act; or
  • The work comes within the scope of a Presidential Proclamation.

Protected Works

Copyright protection is afforded to “original works of authorship” fixed in a tangible form of expression. Fixation need not be directly perceptible if the fixation may be communicated with the aid of a machine. Copyrightable works fall within one of the following categories:

    • Literary Works
    • Musical Works (including accompanying words)
    • Dramatic Works (including accompanying music)
    • Pantomimes and Choreographic Works
    • Pictorial, Graphic, and Sculptural Works
    • Motion Pictures and other Audio-Visual Works
    • Sound Recordings
    • Architectural Works

These categories are broad. For example, software may be protected as a “literary work” and maps may be protected as “pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.”

Generally not protectable under copyright laws are:

  • Works not fixed in a tangible medium;
  • Titles, names, short phrases, slogans, familiar symbols and designs, typographic ornamentation, lettering, coloring, ingredients, or contents;
  • Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, devices;
  • Works containing common property information.

Duration of Protection

For works fixed in a tangible form for the first time on or after January 1, 1978, protection endures seventy years after the end of the author’s (or the last surviving author’s) life. Protection for works for hire and anonymous or pseudonymous works endure for the shorter of ninety-five years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

Copyright Questions?

Send us an Email or call us at 858.483.9200