Claiming Ownership of a Published Work
If you are wondering what a copyright is, and whether you need a copyright on a work you just created, let Grady Bergen give you the answers you seek. He explains copyright law so you know whether you are allowed to copy someone else’s publication and distribute it to those at your company without infringing upon the original creator’s copyright.
Issues of copyright ownership arise in the business world frequently. If you are not careful, you may find yourself unable to move forward in your business because of copyright issues. This is often the case in situations where one person believes they own the copyright in a work they were paying someone else to create, when it is actually owned by the person who created it.
This typically comes up in situations where companies hire an independent contractor to perform a job that involves the creation of a copyrightable work. You may be authorized to use the copies provided by the person you hired without the ability to make additional copies of the work or to modify it, if no agreement exists that states otherwise.
What is Copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection provided to works of authorship that give the owner the exclusive right to do certain things with it. Copyrightable works created in the U.S. are protected under copyright laws as soon as they are fixed in a tangible medium. The publication or registration of the work is not required to qualify for copyright protection.
However, you may want to provide a copyright notice on your published works to prevent a claim of innocent infringement. Registering a copyright for your work provides many advantages. In particular, it allows you to claim statutory damages when actual damages are negligible or hard to prove, as well as provide proof of the validity of your copyright. This includes the right to:
|• Reproduce or Copy the Work
• Make Derivatives of the Work
|• Distribute Copies of the Work
||• Perform or Publicly Display the Work