A recent L.A. Times article posed the question, “Whose tattoo is it anyway?” The article goes on to outline ownership issues as it relates to the copyright in a tattoo. On the one hand, the person who has the tattoo on their body should be able to have ownership of it in light of paying for it. However, the artist who actually put the tattoo on the person may also have rights under copyright law. Lawsuits have been filed in the past over this exact issue, and, in order to avoid dispute as to copyright ownership in a tattoo, there are certain things that any transaction involving a tattoo should include. There should be a written agreement that makes clear who owns the copyright. There could be assignment language or other language, potentially even work-for-hire language that makes clear that the tattoo is owned by the person under whose body it is placed. Otherwise, there is always a risk that the copyright may be claimed by the tattoo artist.
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What is a copyright, and how can registering one protect your intellectual property? What is the correct process for filings and registrations, and do you need to hire a copyright attorney or law firm to handle this? What sort of intellectual property qualifies under United States law, and what are the provisions of transfer terminations? Our experienced patent and copyright attorneys discuss general best practices and legal basics at the Traverse Legal blog.
As I've mentioned in previous shows on Copyright Law Radio a copyright and a work grants the owner of the copyright certain specific exclusive rights. “Exclusive rights” means that the copyright owner has control over their copyright protected work whether or not that's a photograph, an image, a piece of art, a book, some text. Whether or not it's a website, whether or not it's software code, or a variety of other items that fall within potential copyright protection.
My name is Copyright Law Attorney Enrico Schaefer, and today we want to talk a little bit more about the exclusive rights provided by the copyright law. So, the first important exclusive right that every copyright owner needs to understand is that you, as the copyright owner get to understand and determine and control who gets to make copies of your copyright protected work.
Copyright protection is a protection extended to creative works of authorship, and the authority for this is listed in Section 8 of Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution. The purpose of copyright protection is that it is intended to reward creative efforts and to provide an incentive for future creation.
This is Brian Hall, an attorney with Traverse Legal, PLC, an intellectual property law firm that helps clients throughout the world identify, protect, and enforce their intellectual property rights. Today, I will be answering the question: how to protect my idea. Now, this question is a very broad question, but there are several things that can be done in order to protect your idea. The context I want to look at this in deals with when you have an idea and you're telling it to other people in order to either get funding, or possibly make a prototype for a product, or for some other reason.
Before I answer that question, let's keep in mind that an idea can be protected via a patent. It can't necessarily be protected via copyright until that idea is captured in some tangible form or medium. While that all sounds like legal jargon, the reality is that an idea has limited ways to be protected under intellectual property law. An intellectual property lawyer can help define the best way to protect that idea.
Copyright Law Explained:
In this edgy and informative video, the history of copyright law is summarized and explained. Every copyright infringement lawyer can tell you what you can and cannot use from copyright protected works. This video will help you understand how to avoid a claim of copyright infringement so you don’t have to hire a copyright infringement attorney.
Copyright is a protection of intellectual property afforded by the U.S. Constitution and formalized in U.S> Copyright law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression, covering published and unpublished works. Copyright can protect literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architectural works, but not facts, methods of operation, ideas or systems.
A copyright protected work is protected when it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. You must register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office in order for a patent and copyright attorney to file a copyright infringement lawsuit in a United States Federal Court.
Copyright Law has changed in both scope and length of copyright provisions. It originally was 14 years with a possibilities of a renewal of 14 years. It changed to be 28 years for initial term and then another 28 year renewal term. Congress then added 19 years and then another 20, eventually creating a system of dual term copyrights. Today we have a unitary term system based for most works on the life of the author plus 70 years. That dual term system is actually related to one of the types of termination rights that are currently in the Copyright Act. Damien Allen and Lydia Loren discuss the challenges and the provisions of Copyright Transfer Terminations on today's program.
- The Copyright Act gives authors and their families certain rights to terminate agreements
- Section 203 Termination Rights of the Copyright Act, in Title 17 of the United States Code are for agreements entered into after the 1976 Copyright Act, effective January 1, 1978. For 203 terminations, you can terminate an agreement entered into by an author 35 years after the date of the agreement.
- Section 304 terminations relate to the lengthening of copyright terms of agreements that were entered into before the effective date of the 1976 Act.
Announcer: Welcome to Copyright Law Radio, sponsored by Traverse Copyright Law, internet lawyers specializing in copyright infringement, copyright licensing, and copyright registration. Now here’s your host, Damien Allen.
Why should your register your Copyright with the US Copyright Office? First of all, you can not sue to enforce your copyright against infringement if you don't register. Here are the top 5 benefits of copyright registration.
Today’s program is brought to you by the attorneys at Traverse Legal, PLC, a global law firm specializing in Internet law, Trademark infringement, Copyright Infringement, Cybersquatting, On-Line Defamation, Non-Compete & Trade Secret Law and Complex litigation. If you have a legal matter arising on the web, contact one of Traverse Legal’s internet lawyers today.
DAMIEN ALLEN: Good morning and welcome to Traverse Legal Radio. My name is Damien Allen and today with us via the telephone in the studio with have Mr. Brian Hall. Brian Hall is an attorney with Traverse Legal PLC. Brian’s practice focuses on copyright matters, including copyright filings and registrations, copyright infringement litigation, and copyright licensing and related matters. Brian represents the online business interests of entities throughout the world, especially as it pertains to the internet law and related business representation matters. Good morning Brian and welcome to the program.
The United States Copyright Office defines a computer program as a set of statements or instructions to be used directly or indirectly in a computer in order to bring about a certain result. The question becomes what exactly does a copyright registration for a computer program protect? Courts have held that copyright protection extends not only to the literal elements of a computer program, such as source code and object code, but also to the program’s non-literal elements. These non-literal elements are the products generated by the codes interaction with the computer hardware and operating programs. Put another way, copyright protection of a computer program extends to the structure, sequence, organization, user-interface, screen displays, and menu structures. Therefore, a copyright registration will protect not only the code but also the output of that code.
A Copyright only lasts so long before it becomes part of the public domain. Here is a resource link to information concerning the Copyright Term for published and unpublished works. A copyright is dependent on when the work was first published, whether or not the work was registered as a copyright and whether the publication was in the United States or abroad. Note that song recordings have a separate chart, as do architectural works.