Copyrights protect original works of authorship, such as: books, music, artwork, sculpture (including dolls), photographs and other artistic expressions.
Copyright protection exists from the moment a work is created in a tangible medium. However, even though a certain level of protection automatically exists, there are significant benefits in obtaining a copyright registration. These benefits include:
- The ability to file a lawsuit against infringers of your work. A copyright owner cannot proceed with a copyright infringement lawsuit unless the work has been registered.
- The ability to obtain "statutory damages" and "legal costs and attorneys' fees" from an infringer. A copyright registration which is filed prior to an infringement taking place or within 3 months from the publication date of the work allows the owner of the infringed work to seek such damages. This means that rather than a copyright owner having to prove actual damages, statutory damages can be awarded.
- A Certificate of Registration serves as prima facie evidence that the work is original and is owned by the registrant of the copyrighted work. This presumption of validity will only apply if the work has been registered within 5 years from the publication date.
- The improved ability to resolve copyright infringement matters without the need to commence a formal lawsuit. Having an existing copyright registration that can be cited when an initial “cease and desist” letter is sent to the infringer demonstrates to the infringer that you are already prepared to vigorously pursue the infringement in court if resolution is not achieved.
- If it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit, your copyright registration provides numerous strategic benefits: (i) the originality of the covered work and your ownership will be presumed, (ii) statutory damages can be awarded, and (iii) legal costs and attorneys' fees can be recovered.
Kyle & Associates specializes in copyright law including advising on copyright notice requirements, obtaining U.S. copyright registrations, preparation and recordation of copyright assignments, preparing or reviewing work-for-hire agreements, advising on ownership disputes, as well as handling copyright infringement matters and prompt infringement resolution.
We have achieved numerous settlements in copyright cases requiring infringers to withdraw or change their infringing products, as well as pay monetary damages to our clients. With our experience on both sides of these types of disputes, we are also successful in defending against allegations of copyright infringement against our clients. We assist our clients in enforcing their copyrights, while always looking for innovative, cost-effective solutions in enforcing rights and in resolving disputes.