Copyright: The Importance of Preventative Measures
We all know people who know they are in poor physical health and in danger of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other horrific ailments. But they still do nothing – they still fail to take preemptive action. Many of these people wind up needlessly suffering, physically and financially. Many ultimately lose their lives because it seemed easier to do nothing and simply hope for the best.
This same attitude is also prevalent among far too many business people, artists, authors, and inventors who fail to take preemptive action to protect their intellectual property. The reasons for this range from ignorance, to money, to being too trusting, to thinking that it just won’t happen to them.
But theft of intellectual property isn’t something that just happens to others. It is a daily occurrence, and for the unprepared, it very often winds up being very stressful, very destructive, and very expensive.
I have 2 clients, in particular, who chose not to register their valuable content with the US Copyright Office, and who now find themselves in a very precarious situation. People who they trusted have stolen their work and claimed it as their own. Copyright registration is necessary in order to file an infringement lawsuit for works of U.S. origins. While these clients can still file for an expedited copyright registration, it will cost a lot more than it would have had they registered their work after it was created or published. For example, if you file the application yourself, the copyright registration fee is only $35, while the expedited registration fee is $35 + $760. There are many benefits to registering your work with the US Copyright Office, among them are the ability to bring a lawsuit against an infringer, as well as statutory damages and attorneys fees.
It’s hard to understand why otherwise smart business people don’t take proactive steps to protect their assets. The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” comes to mind, as does the phrase “penny wise and pound foolish.”
Isn’t you life’s work important enough for you to take some relatively simple and inexpensive steps to protect it?
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours.
Join the conversation on my Facebook Fan Page, on Twitter, in one of my LinkedIn groups.