You may not think of yourself as an author, but we all tend to be authors these days, at least to some degree. If your manufacturing business has an assembly line that runs on software code, someone is the author of that copyrightable code. Typically, you want to ensure your business is the author and has all rights in any code and other copyrightable content that is key to your business value and success.

If you drafted the content on your business website, blog, or marketing materials, or if your business products consist of original authored content such as curriculum, photos, videos, illustrations, designs, recordings, or otherwise, then you are an author (or your business is an author) and the content is automatically copyrighted the moment it exists in a tangible medium of expression viewable with the naked eye or the aid of a machine or device. In fact, if we go to lunch together and I draw an original little picture for you on my napkin, that drawing is automatically copyrighted, meaning that I automatically have copyrights in that drawing as the author.

However, my automatic copyrights do not mean my copyright has been registered. Registering my copyrights requires another step. Copyrights in original authored works may be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office to enhance the protections of copyright.

Federal Copyright Registration

Registering your original work with the U.S. Copyright Office establishes your claim of rights in the work with the Copyright Office and creates a public record of your claim and authorship. If your work should be infringed and you wish to pursue a court claim to protect your rights, you would need to first register your copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office before pursuing the claim. In a case such as this, you would need to prove actual damages, and would not be able to recover your attorneys’ fees. But, if you register your copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office before an infringement and then need to pursue a court claim to protect your rights, you may be eligible for statutory damages and recovery of your attorneys’ fees and costs. When made before or within five (5) years of publication of a published work, the registration also constitutes prima facie evidence of the copyright (meaning that the registration itself is evidence of your rights and the other facts in the registration). After registration, you can also record the registration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and they can police the border for potentially infringing imports.

Our Copyright Services

We provide an array of copyright-related services, including a legal consult to help you identify and clarify your rights in any copyrightable content valuable to your business, identify your related options and legal opportunities, and develop and protect your copyrights, including federal copyright registration services.

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