Knowing and protecting your copyright, and respecting the copyright of others is an important part of entertainment law. Here are a few important facts about what copyright is and how you can protect your rights as a creator.
What is Copyright?
Copyright is a category of intellectual property. Owning a copyright means that you have the exclusive rights to that work. When someone produces an original creative piece, such as artwork, music or writing, they own the copyright of that work. In some states, copyright expires 50 to 100 years after the death of the creator, at which time the work becomes part of the public domain and anyone can use it.
Does Copyright Law Apply to You?
Copyright law applies to you not only as a creator, but also as a consumer. It is important to protect your copyright, but also to avoid violating the copyright of others. If you are an artist or entertainer who produces art, books, TV shows, movies, video or computer games, choreography, internet content, music or any other type of original content, you are eligible to register your copyright. As a consumer, you should avoid using anyone’s creative work without their express permission. A good rule is to avoid copying, modifying or using anything that you did not create yourself.
How Can You Protect Your Copyright?
Entertainment lawyers like John Branca know how to help you protect your copyright. They can assist you with registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office and also help defend against misuse of your original, creative works. When in doubt, an attorney can also help you recognize when you might be infringing on another person’s copyright and advise you on how to proceed.
With these simple facts about copyright, you can both recognize the illegal use of copyright and start considering ways to protect your creative work.