Your words are your own and when you are a writer they also mean your livelihood. Copyright infringement is a problem that faces most authors throughout their careers. Whether you are a writer, an artist or a songwriter you need to protect your work with a copyright. A copyright attorney in Chicago will help keep your work from being plagiarized and will assist you in protecting your intellectual property.
What is a Copyright?
A copyright is a form of legal protection that is granted to the author of an original work of intellectual property. This includes any tangible medium of expression and it covers both published and unpublished work. A copyright means that your work is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. When your work is copyrighted it is legally protected and others are not allowed to use your work for any purpose unless they obtain your written permission ahead of time. A copyright attorney in Chicago can assist you in obtaining the legal protection you need.
A copyright is available to protect all types of intellectual work including books and other writings, plays, music and artwork. It does not offer protection of non-written things such as ideas nor does it cover anything that is already considered a fact. Although your work is your property and protected by copyright immediately after being produced, it is best to obtain a legal copyright for the best protection.
Copyright registration is not mandatory. You can choose not to register your work if you prefer. However, if you find that someone has plagiarized your work and you want to take legal action against them, you will need to make sure that you obtain a copyright for the property.
Why Should I Copyright My Work?
While you know that your work is your own, if a situation occurs where someone allegedly is using your property as their own, you will need to take legal action. When this occurs you will need to follow the copyright laws. The law requires that your work be legally copyrighted in order to prove that it belongs to you. It is helpful to get guidance from an experienced copyright attorney in Chicago.
Some people use what is known as the “poor man’s copyright”. This is a procedure where you send a copy of the work to yourself so you can prove the date that it was created and that you own the work. While this may suffice in some instances, if you need to take legal action the law does not have a provision for this type of proof.
When you register your work you will receive a certificate of registration. This is a document that you will need in order to prove that the work belongs to you. If your work is registered you may be owed damages as well as compensation for your attorney’s fees if the litigation is successful. A U.S. copyright is often honored in other countries with which we have an agreement. It is best to learn more about copyrights and get help from an experienced copyright attorney in Chicago to protect your writing, music or art.
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