Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original works of authorship” including literary works, dramatic works, musical works, including accompanying works, pantomimes and choreographic works, pictoral, graphic and sculptural works, motion pictures and other audiovisual works, sound recordings, architectural works and computer software.
The 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, or to display the copyrighted work publicly. The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. For example, a description of a machine could be copyrighted, but this would only prevent others from copying the description; it would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the machine.
Your copyrights should be registered with the Register of Copyrights as soon as practical to preserve all rights and remedies should infringement occur. Copyrights are registered by the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.
Some of our firm’s copyright practice areas include copyright counseling, copyright registration, copyright infringement monitoring, copyright licensing and employer copyright ownership and work made for hire agreements.