Couseling Clients On All Copyright-Related Matters
Comprehensive Copyright Practice
Copyright protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as novels, computer software, movies, songs and architecture. In fact, any communication recorded on a tangible medium receives protection of copyright law. STEVEN IVY P.C. specializes in copyright matters. The firm helps clients to manage their copyright portfolios and handles various copyright infringement issues.
STEVEN IVY P.C. offers efficient and affordable legal counsel on all copyright-related matters. The hallmark of our practice is personal service. We work closely with our clients to ensure that their interests are properly protected. The firm services clients in several Illinois counties, including: Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Kane County, DeKalb County, Will County, McHenry County and Kendall County. Our clients can meet with us in eight Illinois locations, including: Chicago, Lisle, Northbrook, Oak Brook, Rosemont, Saint Charles, Schaumburg, and Warrenville.
Copyright is a very powerful tool providing the owner, or a person to whom the owner has transferred his/her rights, exclusive right to display and publish the work publicly, make copies and distribute the work, charge royalties based on the usage of the work and to obtain compensation from the infringing party for any losses suffered. However, copyright does not protect facts, ideas, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.
Several categories of material are generally not eligible for federal copyright protection. These include among others: works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression, titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs, mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring, mere listings of ingredients or contents, ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration and works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship.
Only the author, or those deriving their rights through the author, can rightfully claim copyright protection. In the case of works made for hire, the employer, and not the employee, is considered to be the author. The authors of a joint work are co-owners of the copyright in the work, unless there is an agreement to the contrary. Copyright in each separate contribution to a periodical or other collective work is distinct from copyright in the collective work as a whole and vests initially with the author of the contribution.
Copyright Automatic Protection
Copyright protection is automatic. Consequently, you acquire copyright protection the very moment you create your work. However, this work must be fixed in a tangible form "perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device". This means that your work must be somehow recorded, whether on a hard drive, paper, or a tape. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works, because the requirement of recording your work is not associated with publishing of your work.
Registering Copyright Work
Since copyright protection is automatic, at least technically, the registration of your work is not required. As a result, registration is voluntary. However, registration is recommended for a number of reasons. Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. On the other hand, registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within 5 years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law; here, the court assumes your work has been copyrighted and the burden to prove otherwise falls on the opposing party.
Copyright vs. Trademark and Patent
There are key differences between the legal protection provided by the copyright law, and the protection afforded by the trademark or the patent law. Copyright protects original works of authorship, while a patent protects inventions or discoveries. Ideas and discoveries are not protected by the copyright law, although the way in which they are expressed may be. A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others.