Copyrights

Theoretically, you own a copyright to something as soon as you express it in a fixed format.

According to the copyright laws of the United States, a person has a “common law” copyright to a creative expression once it has been expressed in a “fixed medium.” However, should a person require a copyright registration because he/she wishes to secure protection prior to marketing the song, transcript, computer software, or any other such creative expression, the skilled attorneys at Greenberg & Lieberman will be able to complete the task. Whether your creative expression is a literary work, visual art, performing art, sound recording, web design, or anything in between, Greenberg & Lieberman offers expert copyright registration services.

Advantages of Copyright Registration: A registered copyright evidences the date of creation and places others on notice as to your rights to the creation. A copyright filed today will last the creator’s lifetime plus 70 years, of if a “work for hire,” the copyright lasts 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

Let Greenberg & Lieberman record your copyright so you can enforce it.

The attorneys at Greenberg & Lieberman are particularly skilled in obtaining copyrights for computer programs, including computer software, web page designs, and screen displays, as well as submitting revisions to previously published materials. Additionally, the attorneys have prepared extensive copyright licensing contracts and can tailor a contract to your particular needs.

For those individuals in the creative field, United States copyright applications should be submitted at least every three (3) months in order to preserve rights to new creations. For instance, if a web page is updated with new graphics or text, it is advisable to submit a derivative work copyright application within three months of those updates. Without such filings, you will be deprived of your statutory rights. These rights include statutory damages (up to $150,000 for each intentional infringement of some types of copyrighted material) and attorneys’ fees. Most importantly, you must have a copyright registration in order to pursue a legal claim and such a registration shifts the burden to the opposing party for showing ownership of a disputed creation.

Maintain control of your work.

If you do not protect your creation with a registered copyright and someone else passes off the work as their own, the burden of proof falls on you to show you created the work or that you were the first person to create a work. The simplest way to protect your rights is to register your work with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. Once registered, you own the rights to the original expression, the rights to all copies of the expression, the rights to all derivative works based on the original work, the rights to all distribution of the copies, the rights to perform the work publicly (in the case of musical, dramatic, choreographic works, motion pictures and audiovisual works), and the rights to digital audio transmission (in the case of sound recordings).

In order to obtain the maximum benefits from the Copyright statute, you must file a copyright application prior to publication ( offering the work for sale, or by rental, or by lending it to the public) or within three (3) months of publication.

We can make it easy for you.

The attorneys at Greenberg & Lieberman will advise you as to the best methods for protecting your creative expression, review all materials and obtain all pertinent information prior to preparing and submitting your copyright application.

Once a copyright is obtained, Greenberg & Lieberman can assist in protecting your rights, as well as preparing agreements allowing others to use or market your expression. Copyright licensing involves some of the most creative and detailed licensing contract drafting, and Greenberg & Lieberman can suit a contract to your needs.

A United States copyright does not automatically give you “international copyright” whereby your expression is protected throughout the world. There are many countries that offer protection to foreign works through international copyright treaties and conventions. Greenberg & Lieberman can provide you with invaluable advice in choosing the proper markets for your copyrighted works and getting you the most protection available throughout the world.

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