Creators of intellectual property in the form of computer programs, photographs, books, and musical compositions have the right to profit from their works. They also have the right to pursue damages if another party infringes on their work. This is only possible by registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office. Our copyright attorneys at Simms Showers LLP can protect your work and seek financial damages that another party caused by stealing your creation. If your work has been infringed upon, our attorneys will file a lawsuit to stop further infringement from taking place by petitioning the court for a restraining order, demand payment for profits the infringing party earned from your hard work, seek statutory damages in cases where it is difficult to prove a specific monetary loss, and pursue additional compensation for any damages that were caused to you.
What Works Copyright Applies To
Creative works are protected under copyright law Title 17 of the United States Code. Copyright protections apply to both physical and intellectual property protection. Most people have a vague understanding of what the little encircled c—ⓒ— stands for, but there is a general misunderstanding of what copyright protection does, versus a trademark. Artists, writers, computer software designers, architects, film studios, and businesses rely on copyright protections for their works to enable the ongoing success of their livelihood and business model. Examples of original authorship works that copyright protects include works that are:
- Literary works;
- Performance art;
- Visual arts
- Motion pictures;
- Photographs and
- Digital content.
However, you cannot copyright ideas, systems, methods of operations, or facts—though you may copyright the “expression” of these things.
Why You Need to Copyright Your Work
Technically, all literary, artistic, and other such works are protected under copyright law from the moment they are created. You do not need to seek copyright protection for a poem that you wrote in an email, for example. That poem is protected from the moment it left your head and was written down on your computer. The same goes for novels, songs, and computer code. But to file a claim against another party for infringing on your work, you must pursue a copyright through the U.S. Copyright Office. By not copyrighting said work, competitors may end up copying your creation and getting away with it.
Intellectual property theft happens on a daily basis. If another party has stolen your work, you have the ability to seek legal action and the following damages listed under Chapter 5: Copyright Infringement and Remedies:
- Payment of any profits the infringer received;
- Payment for any losses suffered;
- Statutory damages instead of actual profit losses;
- Court order to restrain the subscriber from engaging in infringing activity;
- Forfeit and destruction of the infringing work; and
- Legal fees.
Contact Our Attorneys for Help Today
Intellectual property theft is a serious matter. If your work has been infringed upon, you need to pursue copyright protection for your work. We urge you to call the copyright attorneys at Simms Showers LLP today to schedule a free consultation.