Sunday, October 31, 2010

Copyright Law: An Overview by J M Dawson

Copyright law is a property protection law that protects any type of literary property, such as literary work, music, films, sound recordings, artistic work, and dramatic work of the original writer or creator. The law comes into action the moment the work is created. This law helps in protecting the rights of the writers and creators.

Works Protected By Copyright Law

Literary works includes poems, shorts stories, business letters, books, novels, and any other type of original writing. Dramatic work includes dance, sound, and mimes. Musical works includes the rhymes, the musical notes, and the materials that affect the human ear, like harmonies or orchestras. Artistic works include photographs, sculptures, architecture, and graphics. Film and sound recording or broadcasts include sound tracks and the dramatic work that goes into making films.

Infringement Of Copyright Law

Any kind of recreation of these works is considered copyright infringement, and copyright law kicks in. The copyright law does not protect ideas or patents. Patents are protected by patent law.

Copyright law comes into effect as soon as a literary work is created. However, it is a good idea to protect the copyright of the material by indicating the copyrights after the work is completed, so any accidental reuse can be avoided. Further, one can register the work at a copyright office for safety purposes. This is especially applicable to some huge literary works, or innovative work, or any other high-value work, such as novels, new research, a good story, and many more. If a work is registered at the copyright office, any claim of ownership or any claim against misuse of copyrighted material can be dealt with successfully.

There are several copyright registration options available, online registration and in paper registration to name a few, and these cost less than $100 in registration fees.

Legal Recourse

If one finds that a particular work has been stolen and reproduced elsewhere, one can file a copyright infringement claim. However, the onus is on the claimant to prove that the material was originally created by him or her and prove that it had copyrights before the other party reproduced the work. If the material is registered at the copyrights office, it is easier to win the claim; however, if it is not registered, one would need an expert attorney to represent one's case.

If one is beginning any important literary or artistic work, which is high value, and if one believes that losing the work can cost a lot financially, one can hire a copyright attorney, who will ensure that the material is protected from the beginning and adequate safeguard measures are taken to prevent any accidental or intentional infringement.

Any printed material immediately comes under the purview of copyright law. However, the value of the printed matter differs from something nominal to high value. Thus, the impact of copyright infringement also varies based on the value and type of material. It is always a good practice to immediately register any printed material with a copyright office to avoid legal hassles and financial loss that may occur in the future.

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