United States Copyright Filing San Diego
United States Copyright Filing 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.
United States Copyright Filing San Diego Details
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; and
• 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 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;
• 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;
• The work is a sound recording that was first fixed in a treaty party;
• 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;
• The work is first published by the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies, or by the Organization of American States;
• 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.
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; and
• 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; and
• 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.