Delain Law Office, PLLC, a law firm concentrating in copyright law, is located in Schenectady, New York. Using the statutes and case law of the copyright laws of the United States, we work with our selected clients to improve the quality of their business life by working to increase the enforceability of their rights in works of authorship, to prevent infringement, and stop infringement when it occurs.
Copyright is governed by 17 USC § 100 et seq. It is also governed by a large and growing body of case law, cases decided by judges in the federal court system that interpret the statutes at 17 USC. The federal statutory copyright law states the requirements that must be met to obtain copyright registration. It also identifies the procedures that must be followed to challenge and stop copyright infringement.
What Is Copyright?
Copyright is a bundle of rights for original artistic or literary works that have been fixed in a tangible medium. These rights are based in the U.S. Constitution, which states: The Congress shall have Power … To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries; (U.S. Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 8, Cl. 8)
Over time, the scope of copyright has expanded to provide protection for a variety of creative efforts, including dramatic works, musical works (including music, lyrics, and performance rights), pantomimes, choreographic works, pictorials, graphic and sculptural works, motion pictures, sound recordings, architectural works, and compilations and derivative works based on any of the above items.
How Do I Register My Copyright?
The U.S. Copyright Office, a division of the Library of Congress, administers and issues registration of copyright to those whose applications indicate that they are entitled to register their copyrights in the United States. Other countries have their own copyright offices.
If My Work Does Not Qualify For Copyright Registration, How Can I Protect It?
Other forms of intellectual property protection may be available to you if copyright is not. Copyright, for example, cannot usually protect a tag line, but that same tag line may protectable as a trademark or service mark.
What Remedies Exist for Copyright Infringement?
Remedies available for copyright infringement depend on whether or not the work is registered with the US Copyright Office, or with a foreign copyright office.
For registered works, statutory damages are available, in amounts ranging from $750 per infringement to $30,000 per infringement; if willful infringement can be shown, those damages can be trebled.
In addition, for registered works, in certain cases costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees can be recovered.
For unregistered works, the copyright holder must show actual damages incurred. These can be reimbursed, and the infringer can be forced to disgorge any profits he may have made through the infringement. Trebling of damages, and fees and costs are not available.
How Can We Work Together?
After an initial, exploratory meeting with you during which you will share with us information regarding your goals, values and objectives, both personally and professionally, we will use your information to structure a strategy to help you achieve those goals through the proper management of your copyrights and implementation of copyright laws in a manner that makes the most sense to you. The result is that you will be more in control of the results you seek in connection with the protection of your intellectual property, than with any other approach.
If protection of your copyrights makes sense to you, and if your failure to protect your copyrights will have an effect on your bottom line, then it would make sense to obtain protection of your copyrights. Delain Law Office can assist you by providing you with a strategy that implementing whatever tools necessary to insure that your copyrights are protected including copyright searches and submissions of copyright applications. Further, Delain Law Office can help you police your existing copyrights against infringement and help ensure that all title, rights and interest to your copyrights belongs to you and to no one else, if that makes sense to you.