Creative expression and artistic innovation are cornerstones of cultural development throughout the United States. Here in Texas, countless artists, musicians, writers, and architects work with passion and care to make beautiful, thought-provoking, and unique tangible works of art and writing. For their hard work and dedication to their crafts, they may be compensated for the money their efforts generate for them.
Unfortunately, however, dishonest and unscrupulous individuals may see the profitable nature of some of these works and attempt to use them without permission for their own gains. These actions can directly harm the works’ creators and cause them to suffer financial losses. Victims of these actions may have claims under U.S. copyright law for infringement.
What is a copyright?
A copyright is a legal protection for a physical or written work. As mentioned, the songs musicians write, the books authors create, and the works artists make are all protected by copyright once they are created. An individual does not have to register their copyrighted work to seek protections under the law, as works of this nature are automatically protected once they are created.
The benefits of registering a copyright
Even though an individual does not have to register a copyrighted work for protection under the law, there are benefits to taking such action. Those benefits may include:
- Putting others on notice of their work products and protected works;
- Completing the registration process which is necessary to sue for copyright infringement later on if needed; and
- Preventing copyright infringement from copied works created outside of the United States and brought illegally into the country.
Registering a copyright is a legal process that involves providing information and an application to the government. It can take time to finish a copyright application, and there are many reasons that individuals want to get their applications right the first time to protect their profitable works of art and writing. An intellectual property attorney can advise their client on the right steps to take to register their copyrights and the many benefits that come through copyright registration.