Blake & Ayaz provides comprehensive legal representation in a wide variety of intellectual property-related matters for our clients in Orange County, CA. We know that navigating US copyright law can be confusing and want to help you take full advantage of your legal rights as a content creator.
WHAT IS A COPYRIGHT NOTICE?
One of the most critical things every content creator should understand when protecting their creative works is the copyright notice. This is a formal disclaimer that you own the copyright on your creative work and typically consists of the copyright symbol ©, the date of the first publication of the work, and the name of the copyright owner.
Technically, all creative works published after March 1, 1989, automatically have copyright protection, and the copyright notice is entirely optional. However, it is almost always worth going through the trouble of placing a copyright notice where appropriate on your creative work to prevent infringement from other parties who may seek to exploit your work.
Blake & Ayaz provides comprehensive legal representation to content creators of all kinds in Orange County, CA. We understand that navigating US copyright law can be confusing, and the legal processes involved in protecting your creative work can often be complicated. Therefore, our goal is to help you formally establish copyright protection for your creative works so you can rest assured knowing you have legal standing should you encounter infringement or any intellectual property dispute in the future.
BENEFITS OF COPYRIGHT NOTICES
While it’s true that a copyright notice for your created work is optional, it is well worth placing a copyright notice on any creative work you publish. Your copyright notice serves several important purposes:
- Simply adding a copyright notice to your work will significantly reduce the chances of other parties attempting to infringe upon the work.
- It will prevent claims of “innocent infringement” or prevent other parties from misusing your copyrighted work and claiming they did not know it was protected by copyright.
- It allows easy identification of the copyright owner so that other parties may contact them for licensing rights.
An Orange County copyright notice attorney can help you determine the most appropriate placement of your copyright notice. Typically, placement for written works such as articles and books is simple. The creator needs to add the copyright symbol, date of publication, and their name in a conspicuous place within the work. However, placement is more difficult with other mediums. For example, if you create music, you can include a printed copyright on the physical medium you use to distribute your music, such as the case of a recorded CD. However, if you provide your music for digital download, you should include a copyright notice on the webpage where the music is downloaded.
Copyright notices may not be strictly required, but they add legal standing for any creator who wants to have solid legal standing should they encounter infringement in the future. Additionally, there is no legal requirement to formally register a creative work with the US Copyright Office, but doing so provides several legal benefits should the creator encounter infringement in the future:
- Registering a copyright within five years of creating the work establishes prima facie evidence of ownership of the copyright.
- Registering a copyright within three months of creating the work allows the copyright owner to claim compensation for their legal fees and statutory damages without the need to prove actual damages in an infringement case.
- A formally registered copyright makes it easier for interested parties to contact the copyright owner concerning licensing opportunities and other commercialization agreements, which may be profitable for the copyright owner.
With a copyright notice alone, the owner of the copyrighted work still has the right to take legal action in response to infringement. However, a copyright notice on a copyrighted work that has been formally registered with the US Copyright Office is more legally powerful. This is because it provides a higher level of protection against infringement for the copyright owner.
WHY DO I NEED A LAWYER?
Legal representation is crucial for any intellectual property matter. Whether you need assistance registering your copyright in the first place or if you believe you have grounds for legal action against an infringing party, the right Orange County copyright notice lawyer can be a tremendous asset in helping you navigate your legal affairs with confidence.
First, your attorney can help you determine the most appropriate placement of your copyright notice, even before you have formally applied for your copyright registration. Proper placement of the copyright notice ensures that no one will be able to claim they were simply unaware your work was protected by copyright. Further, your legal team can guide you through the application and registration processes required for ensuring the highest level of legal protection for your creative work.
Blake & Ayaz has a combined 60 years of experience providing our clients in the Orange County, CA, area with comprehensive legal representation in a wide range of cases, including intellectual property litigation and related legal matters. We understand the pressure many copyright owners face when victimized by infringement and the uncertainty that typically follows these legal matters. As your Orange County copyright notice attorneys, our goal is to help you firmly establish the legal protections you need for your creative work to the fullest extent possible under California and US law.
If you are a content creator of any kind and want to formalize your copyright protection with a copyright notice and a more extensive registration process, we can help. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with an Orange County copyright notice attorney and find out how our team can assist you.