Copyrights protect the expression of an idea, not the idea itself. Thus, the copyright protects a writing, not the general concepts communicated in it; the depiction of an object in a photograph, not the object’s natural appearance; the code in which computer program steps are identified, not the steps themselves or the algorithm they embody. Ware, Fressola, Maguire & Barber LLP represents clients in the determination of when a copyright arises and by whom it is owned, how to protect the copyright, litigation to enforce a copyright, and the documentation of copyright-inclusive transactions.
Determining Copyright Ownership
We assist and advise our clients on questions of copyright ownership to ensure copyrights are owned by appropriate parties and ownership is not in question. This may include preparing agreements for clients between employers and employees and between clients and third-party contractors, including prior to the creation of works that may be protected by copyright.
Registering a Copyright
We assist clients in registering copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office. Copyrights may exist without a registration but an infringement lawsuit cannot be maintained without an attempt to secure a registration. Further, registration of a work prior to the occurrence of infringement or within three months of the first publication of a work may provide the copyright owner with additional advantages in the event an infringement occurs.
In a dispute between the owner of a copyright and another who is replicating the copyrighted work as to whether those acts constitute a “fair use” exempt from liability, we can provide advice on how to proceed — including, if necessary, prepare a legal opinion as a defense to a charge of willful infringement.
For More Information
We welcome you to contact Ware, Fressola, Maguire & Barber for more information about our copyright law practice.