Did you know there’s an annual copyright week? 

That’s right – a week dedicated to creative professionals who want to discuss how abiding by copyright law actually promotes innovation. 

Let’s review. What is a copyright?

A copyright is legal protection afforded any original work of art or authorship, which has been reduced to a tangible form.  Many courts define “original” as something having a “modicum” of creativity.  That’s the minimum amount of creativity required for a work to be viewed as original. Yet with that in mind, you wonder why more people don’t take the time to create their own content, instead of taking someone else’s?
A copyright protects literary works of art/authorship (e.g., books, articles, blog posts, website content, music, software), visual works of art/authorship (e.g., photographs, graphic designs, logos, cartoons, sculptures, jewelry), performance works of art/authorship (e.g., pantomimes, choreographic work).

A copyright does not protect ideas, works with no original content, works not reduced to a tangible form, or works in the public domain.

Why copyright law?

Many people view laws as a way to restrict, when it’s actually the laws that protect us. Laws are made to serve the people, and in the case of copyright laws, that’s exactly what they do. Copyright policies grant ownership when culture is shared in order to keep inspiring creative processes.

And as far as culture is concerned, many argue that tangible and digital objects that become a part of history should be deemed public domain assets. If a creator wants to give away his or her rights to their creation – so be it.

For those who want to retain the credit, receive the royalties, and receive statutory damages when your works are used without permission – register your intellectual property and receive peace of mind. 

And remember…

Make sure you protect your valuable content by using the appropriate copyright notice symbol and registering your work.  Don’t let anyone convince you that the so-called “poor-man’s copyright” is a valid way to protect your work.

Francine D. Ward

Stuck in a legal bind? Schedule a consultation TODAY.

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Francine D. Ward
Attorney-At-Law, Author, Speaker

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