A copyright is a Constitutionally protected asset that grants the creator of original works exclusive rights to the distribution and use of the works. Works subject to copyright protection vary greatly and include such assets as software code, literary works, photographs, music, architectural designs, non-functional fashion and jewelry designs and many other valuable business assets.
The rights provided under copyright law, however, are limited by law and are not absolute. For example, knowing what constitutes a work “made for hire” – and thus, owned by a party that did not originally create the work – or what constitutes “fair use” of a copyright work are nuanced legal issues that depend on the unique facts and circumstances of a given situation. In order for businesses and creators of works to truly ensure that their works are properly owned and protected under copyright law, knowledgeable legal counsel should be consulted on such issues. Protection for defensive purposes is important, but perhaps the more significant reason for copyright owners to take the appropriate legal measures to protect and perfect their intellectual property is to be able to take maximum advantage of the benefits afforded under the law in the event of infringement – for example, to elect statutory damages or recover legal fees.
At Wilentz, our intellectual property attorneys are versed in copyright protection, enforcement and litigation. We assist our individual and business clients in a variety of copyright issues and matters, including:
- Copyright registration with the U.S. Copyright Office
- Enforcement and protection of copyrights
- Copyright licensing (exclusive and nonexclusive licensing)
- Transfer of copyrights (through sale or otherwise)
- Copyright litigation and related intellectual property litigation
- “Fair use” under copyright law
- “Works for hire” under copyright law
- Software – Proprietary and Open Source
- General counseling as to copyright issues and matters
- Contracts (nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements)
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) guidance and counseling (including take down notices, counter notices, safe harbor procedures)
- International copyright protection / Berne Convention
Our experienced copyright attorneys are available to guide your business through the thicket of copyright law, and assist you establish the appropriate measures best suited for your needs.