Intellectual Property | Copyright Infringement | Technology | Software

Copyright Registration

Welcome to RegisterMyCopyright.com – Affordable Copyright Services for Artists, Designers, Musicians, Filmmakers, Software Developers and others.

Copyright protection

Introduction

Our law firm is a leader in the Copyright law business.  We offer flat rate fee pricing to help you or your business obtain and secure copyright protection for your creative works of authorship.

What types of things can be copyrighted? [Distinctive things that are used for commercial purposes]

Technically, any “creative work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression” can be copyrightable.  A list of some things that would be included are:

  • Song lyrics
  • Film
  • Software
  • Mobile applications
  • Comic strips
  • Website
  • Art
  • Illustrations
  • Photographs
  • Podcasts
  • Jingles
  • Jewelry
  • Poems
  • Drone video
  • Company logos
  • Fabric design
  • Architectural plans
  • Works of literature
  • Works of Drama (play)
  • Screenplay
  • Computer code
  • Choreography (recorded on video)
  • Toys
  • Fictional characters
  • Magic act – See Houdini Copyright Trick

What legal rights does the owner of a Copyright get?

Obtaining a copyright is inexpensive and confers upon the owner an exclusive “bundle of rights.”  Two cases pulled from federal court illustrate this principle:

“Section 106 of the Copyright Act confers a bundle of exclusive rights to the owner of the copyright. Under the Copyright Act, these rights—to publish, copy, and distribute the author’s work—vest in the author of an original work from the time of its creation. § 106. In practice, the author commonly sells his rights to publishers who offer royalties in exchange for their services in producing and marketing the author’s work. The copyright owner’s rights, however, are subject to certain statutory exceptions. §§ 107–118. Among these is § 107 which codifies the traditional privilege of other authors to make “fair use” of an earlier writer’s work. In addition, no author may copyright facts or ideas § 102. The copyright is limited to those aspects of the work—termed “expression”—that display the stamp of the author’s originality.”

See Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539, 546–47, 105 S. Ct. 2218, 2223–24, 85 L. Ed. 2d 588 (1985)
In another case, the court held:

“The Copyright Act does not give a copyright holder control over all uses of his copyrighted work. Instead, s 1 of the Act enumerates several ‘rights‘ that are made ‘exclusive’ to the holder of the copyright.  If a person, without authorization from the copyright holder, puts a copyrighted work to a use within the scope of one of these ‘exclusive rights,’ he infringes the copyright. If he puts the work to a use not enumerated in s 1, he does not infringe.”

Any person entitled thereto, upon complying with the provisions of this title, shall have the exclusive right:
(a) To print, reprint, publish, copy, and vend the copyrighted work;
(b) To translate the copyrighted work into other languages or dialects, or make any other version thereof, if it be a literary work; to dramatize it if it be a nondramatic work; to convert it into a novel or other nondramatic work if it be a drama; to arrange or adapt it if it be a musical work; to complete, execute, and finish it if it be a model or design for a work of art;
(c) To deliver, authorize the delivery of, read, or present the copyrighted work in public for profit if it be a lecture, sermon, address or similar production or other nondramatic literary work; to make or procure the making of any transcription or record thereof by or from which, in whole or in part, it may in any manner or by any method be exhibited, delivered, presented, produced, or reproduced; and to play or perform it in public for profit, and to exhibit, represent, produce, or reproduce it in any manner or by any method whatsoever. The damages for the infringement by broadcast of any work referred to in this subsection shall not exceed the sum of $100 where the infringing broadcaster shows that he was not aware that he was infringing and that such infringement could not have been reasonably foreseen; and
(d) To perform or represent the copyrighted work publicly if it be a drama or, if it be a dramatic work and not reproduced in copies for sale, to vend any manuscript or any record whatsoever thereof; to make or to procure the making of any transcription or record thereof by or from which, in whole or in part, it may in any manner or by any method be exhibited, performed, represented, produced, or reproduced; and to exhibit, perform, represent, produce or reproduce it in any manner or by any method whatsoever; and
(e) To perform the copyrighted work publicly for profit if it be a musical composition; and for the purpose of public performance for profit, and for the purposes set forth in subsection (a) hereof, to make any arrangement or setting of it or of the melody of it in any system of notation or any form of record in which the thought of an author may be recorded and from which it may be read or reproduced
See Twentieth Century Music Corp. v. Aiken, 422 U.S. 151, 154–55, 95 S. Ct. 2040, 2043, 45 L. Ed. 2d 84 (1975).  Each of these rights can be individually licensed to one or more entities.

What things cannot be copyrighted?

Here is a list of some things that are not likely able to be copyrighted:

1.  An idea (ex. an idea for a computer video game)

2.  Your name, pseudonyms, pen names, stage names

3.  Functional items (such as fashion, useful articles, etc.)

4.  Methods (ex. a recipe – unless in a cookbook)

5.  Facts

6.  Commonly known information

7.  Short phrases or catchphrases

8.  Expressions or slogans

9.  Works that lack originality

10.  Book or record titles

11.  Telephone directories (considered to be in the public domain)

12.  Domain names

13.  Business practices

14.  Works created by the federal government (ex. Memos, studies and reports)

15.  Laws – (ex. court decisions, statutes, regulations, constitutions, treaties)

Podcast – Listen to Attorney Steve discuss things that CANNOT be copyrighted.

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWYER

Things that cannot be copyrighted may still be able to obtain TRADEMARK PROTECTION

Some of the things trademark protects are:

  • Slogans
  • Logos & symbols (ex. the Mercedes Benz hood ornament)
  • Phrases (ex. “Just Do It”)
  • Brand names (ex. “Microsoft” or “Pepsi”)
  • Words (ex. “Gmail”)
  • Designs
  • Colors (ex. Home Depot Orange)
  • Sounds & Jingles
  • Fragrances
  • Shapes
  • Unique product packaging
  • Fictional characters

U.S. Copyright Office Online Registration

We can help clients register their copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office.

We can also help with trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”)

Contact us to discuss low cost registration services

To learn about our pricing or to get started call us at (877) 276-5084.