Copyright protection in Seattle dates back to the U.S. Constitution and its Copyright Clause, which incentivizes citizens to create new works and share them with the public by granting creators exclusive rights over them (most of the time). This makes the unquestionable necessity for something as valuable as copyrights to be protected.
Copyright protection in Seattle is governed by federal law, specifically the Copyright Act of 1976. This act provides legal protection for original works of authorship, such as literature, music, and artwork. In Seattle, as in the rest of the United States, copyright protection exists automatically when a work is created and fixed in a tangible form.
The intended purpose of copyright law is to expand human knowledge and entertainment, but issues related to copyright have expanded beyond what the founding fathers could have imagined. As a creator, it’s important to have a basic understanding of this crucial intellectual property right.
Register for Protection
Copyright registration is the first step in protecting this type of intellectual property. It’s important to note that registration isn’t required for a work to be protected. Any copyrightable material, such as poetry or a sculpture, is protected the moment it’s been placed in a tangible medium. Although protection immediately exists, consulting a copyright attorney to ensure copyright registration provides added benefits.
Benefits of copyright registration include, among other things, infringement deterrence, the ability to sue, statutory damages and attorneys’ fees, and border protection.
To register a copyright, you’ll need to file a copyright application with the U.S. Copyright Office. The Copyright Office recommends applying online to avoid long processing times, which can take as little as one to three months, but a more typical time is six months.
Once a copyright is registered, the copyright owner has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display the work, as well as to create derivative works. This means others cannot use the work without the copyright owner’s authorization.
Unlike trademarks and patents, copyrights don’t expire. On the contrary, the copyright for a work created by an individual lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. For works created by a company, the copyright lasts for 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever is shorter.
By taking the time to register your copyright and understand your rights, you can help protect your intellectual property and ensure that you’re compensated for your hard work.
Contact Seattle Firm TBillick Law PLLC for Copyright Protection
TBillick Law PLLC is a highly qualified Seattle-based law firm providing expert intellectual property solutions in Seattle. Tim Billick has over a decade of experience in copyright law and will assess your legal concerns with the attention and professionality you need to protect your intellectual property rights.
If you have creative works that require copyright protection and would like to discuss your protection objectives, options, or any other intellectual property matters, contact TBillick Law PLLC at 206-494-0020 or use our convenient online form to request a consultation.
We proudly serve the residents of Seattle,Bellevue, Bellingham, Tacoma, Olympia,and the surrounding areas in Washington.
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Seattle, WA 98104