Copyright law provides critical protection to media and technology companies, and also to those in the creative arts. The Copyright Act grants certain exclusive rights to authors of “original works of authorship”. Protected works can include any writing fixed in a tangible medium, such as literary works (including computer software), musical, graphical or pictorial works and sound recordings. Even the Chicago Bulls mascot costume enjoys copyright protection.
Protected works must be “original”, meaning that the work must have originated with the author and must not have been copied from somewhere else. To qualify as “original”, a work need not be exciting or a work of genius; a mundane poster can qualify. Even where a work is original, copyright protection will extend to the distinctive, concrete elements that a author has contributed to a work, not to the work’s underlying ideas, theories or facts.
LexAnalytica, PC represents both copyright holders and alleged infringers in litigation and pre-litigation copyright matters – where the remedies can be significant. Infringers can be liable for up to $150,000 in statutory damages, and can be liable to pay a prevailing plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
LexAnalytica, PC represents both online service providers and copyright holders in DMCA matters. The DMCA is a federal statute that creates an incentive for online service providers to co-operate with copyright holders in situations where the service provider has both specific knowledge of potential infringement and the ability to stop it. Under the DMCA “safe harbor” regime, an online service provider must remove infringing content when it receives notice from the copyright owner or otherwise has knowledge of infringing activity.
LexAnalytica, PC assists clients in registering works so that they can obtain maximum protection under the Copyright Act. An application for a copyright registration must be made before filing an action for copyright infringement. But in order to be eligible to obtain statutorydamages and attorneys’ fees, a copyright holder must register the work in question before the act of infringement occurs. For these reasons, copyright owners should file for registrations as soon as a work is completed.