Copyright Protection embodies the expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves. Ideas are free as the air; it is how you express them that is worthy of protection. And so, copyright “subsists in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression…” This is only part of the definition, but it is the most salient statement about copyright. Any work independently created and fixed in such a way as it can be read or perceived is entitled to a copyright.
When you were in Third Grade and the teacher ordered you to write and submit what you did on summer vacation represents an example of a writing to which you would be entitled to a copyright. What if the girl next to you peaked over your shoulder and copied what you wrote and submitted it as her own? That would be an example of infringement. To commit infringement you don’t steal an object, you steal a subject. You take the intellectual property of another and attempt to use it for your own selfish purposes. In the real world, infringers use the unauthorized expressions of others to advance their own agenda. They may borrow whole sections from books, fraudulently duplicate paintings, imitate screenplays or copy software programming belonging to another. There are numerous other examples, but what is true about one is true about all; it represents the unauthorized copying of another’s intellectual property.
An infringer may reproduce or copy software source code; she may take that copy and prepare a derivative work or adapt it using your work product to make hers better; she may distribute the code to the public; she may perform the work publicly as when a songwriter authorizes the broadcasting a song; she may display the work to the public as when a magazine features a particular image; and, finally, a sound recording may be illegally performed publicly by means of digital audio transmission (DAT). Violations of any or all of these rights constitute infringement for which an individual or an entity may be liable to you. In each case, you would be entitled to damages depending on the nature and extent of the violation.
In order to enforce a copyright, it is absolutely critical that you register your copyright as early as possible. Registration is found at the United States Copyright Office otherwise known as the Register of Copyrights. It is easily located on the Internet. You must register your copyright, whatever it may be, before the infringement commences or within 90 days after first publication of the work. Registration is a pre-condition to filing a lawsuit for copyright infringement. Failure to do so will forfeit your right to sue the violator.
This office specializes in copyright infringement. Don has represented software developers for almost 10 years. He has brought lawsuits for infringement against some of the largest companies in this country for their purloining of the licensed work product of his clients. Some of the lawsuits he has filed on behalf of developers include those against: Microsoft, Waste Management, 3M, Ziff Brothers Inv., Samsung, Autodesk, ITT, Deloitte, Nuance/eCopy, Honeywell, National Cinemedia. [We cannot reveal many of the others who settled rather than face a complaint due to confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements.]
Copyright encompasses a range of violations depending of the company or the individual who is violated. We often see lawsuits brought by record companies or movie studios against infringers. Book publishers and authors will often enforce their rights. Architects will file a complaint against those who reproduce their original concepts for a structure. Photographers will seek redress against unauthorized copying of their work.
Feel free to contact us. We can and will do our very best to represent you.
• Litigation for Infringment of Copyright
• Copyright Registration Services
• Determination of Copyright eligibility
• Copyright Enforcement
• Preparation of Cease and Desist Letters
• Computer Software Licensing
Please call to inquire about fees