Texas Copyright Attorney

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Copyright is one way of protecting “original works of authorship.” It includes music, art, drama, literature, and various other intellectual works that are either published or unpublished. While anyone can file for a copyright, having the assistance of a copyright attorney with Eddington & Worley gives the creator a significant advantage in both applying for and defending their copyrights.

Current laws protect the client’s form of expression instead of safekeeping their subject matter. It allows for new, unique content to be created on the same subject, while simultaneously protecting the original works copyright holder against the unapproved use of their works. Our Texas intellectual property law firm has worked for years to develop a sterling reputation as one of the best law firms in America.

If you or your business have questions about copyright law, call our office today at (281) 595-1519 for a risk-free consultation. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide guidance on how you should proceed in protecting your works.

Copyright Policy

The Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA) has a copyright team that helps advise the Administration and other federal government agencies and departments on international and domestic copyright legal and policy matters.

The OPIA copyright team, at the international level, provides advice and analysis on foreign copyright laws as well as the international copyright system, which includes assistance in the negotiation of new copyright norms, how such norms are to be implemented in United States law, as well as the enforcement of international obligations.

The OPIA copyright team, at the domestic level, provides advice and analysis on copyright developments within the Executive branch, the courts, and even the United States Congress. To complement its domestic and international policy activities, the OPIA copyright team actively engages in the provision of technical assistance as well as training on copyright-related issues for both the United States and foreign government officials.

Copyright Laws

Federal copyright law involves protecting authentic creative works like writing, software, music, dance, photos, architecture, and paintings. Your work has to meet the minimum requirements so that it can qualify for copyright protection. In fact, the length of the protection depends on the date of creation or when it was first published.

According to the Copyright Act of 1976, the owner of the copyright has the exclusive right to prepare derivative works, reproduce the copyrighted work, distribute phonorecords or copies of their copyrighted work, display copyrighted work publicly, or perform copyrighted work publicly.

A copyright attorney examines a clients work.

How Can I Secure a Copyright?

This is a frequently misunderstood topic because many people believe that you must register your work before you can claim copyright. However, no publication, registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright. Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work is “created” when it is fixed in a “copy or a phonorecord for the first time.” For example, a song can be fixed in sheet music or on a CD, or both. Although registration with the Copyright Office is not required to secure protection, it is highly recommended for the following reasons:

  • Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.
  • Registration is necessary before an infringement suit may be filed in court (for works of U. S. origin).
  • If made before or within 5 years of publication, registration establishes prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.
  • If registration is made within 3 months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.
  • Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U. S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies.

How Long Does Copyright Protection Last?

The length of your copyright depends on when the work was created, published, and/or registered. Duration also depends on whether the work was created by an individual, more than one individual, or as an employee at the direction of another person or company. For works created by individual authors on or after January 1, 1978, copyright protection begins at the moment of creation and lasts for a period of 70 years after the author’s death. In the case of “a joint work” (prepared by two or more authors), the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author’s death. For works made for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works, copyright protection generally lasts for 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

For works created before January 1, 1978 (protected under the 1909 Copyright Act), the duration rules are quite different (and much more complex). Duration depends on a number of factors, including whether the work was “published” and whether or not the copyright was renewed. In general, under the 1909 Copyright Act, copyright protection begins with the first publication of the work and lasts for a period of 28 years, renewable for an additional term of 28 years, for a total term of protection of 56 years. In 1976, Congress extended the renewal term to 47 years, increasing the total possible term of protection to 75 years. In 1998, Congress again extended the renewal term by an additional 20 years, for total possible term of protection of 95 years from publication.

For works created but not published or registered by January 1, 1978, copyright lasts for a period of 70 years after the author’s death (or at least through December 31, 2002). For works published on or before December 31, 2002, the term of copyright lasts through December 31, 2047.

Contact an Eddington & Worley Copyright Attorney Today for a Free Consultation

When you produce an original work of art, be it images, literature, art, or music, you deserve to be able to protect your work from unlawful use. Copyright laws exist to provide that protection, but if you don’t follow the necessary process, you may be exposing your work to plagiarism or unlawful use. Contacting the Texas intellectual property lawyers with Eddington & Worley is the best way to validate the work as yours and yours alone.

If you believe you need to obtain a copyright or need to defend an existing copyright, call our offices today at (281) 595-1519. We have experts ready to help you 24/7 with a free initial consultation. Don’t let someone else steal your creative works, obtain a copyright today.

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