...how to copyright a song, lyrics, and/or music. It's important to recognize at the outset that those are three different things. A song is made up of both the underlying music or notes, along with the lyrics, that allow a song to be played. A song is essentially a sound recording that includes all of those elements. Whereas, music is put together by a composer. Whereas, lyrics are put together by a lyricist.
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When a court has to look at two pieces of music and decide whether or not they're substantially similar, the cases are really all over the board. One of the first cases on this issue wasn't a music case. It was a case about a play with a particular plot about an Irish family and a Jewish family, and a similar movie was made not too long after.
What registration for copyright does is it allows you the opportunity to actually enforce your copyright. In other words, to go after people who are infringing on your copyright and to protect it from illegal copying by other people. Before that, before registration, when you have the copyright from the moment that the work was created, that's an asset that you own. You can sell it. You can license it. You can make money off of it. But in order to actually go to court over your copyright when someone else is copying it, that's when registration becomes important.
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A film title search and the subsequent film title report is a search of several types of databases to determine whether or not your film title is clear for use. And, oftentimes, insurance companies will want such a search and report prior to issuing errors and omissions insurance with regard to your particular film project.
So, what is a film title search and report? Well, a film title search is a search of several different databases and other resources to determine whether or not there are any outstanding terms, names, or trademarks that may conflict with your potential film title. The first of these searches is a search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database, as well as Common Law trademarks that may exist.
The purpose of this search is to ensure that there are no outstanding trademarks that may conflict with or cause a potential risk to your film title. The test for that is whether or not that trademark or trade name is identical or confusingly similar to your film's title.
What the Business Software Alliance audit letter does, is it identifies that it represents various entities, such as Microsoft, Adobe, Acrobat and various others and the software that those manufactures create and produce. The letter goes on to state that the recipient has been identified as somebody that could be using those various pieces of software without proper licensing, As a result, they say that that person receiving the letter may be in violation of the copyright act in the United States. More specifically, that they are infringing a copyright. As a result, they point to the fact that malicious and willful copyright infringement may entitle them to statutory damages of $150,000.