Register Your Copyright to Protect Your Photographs and Other Creative Work
Copyright is a form of legal ownership that applies to creative works. Any work that you can consider intellectual property can be copyrighted, including but not limited to photography, books, product manuals, movies, music recordings, original paintings and illustrations, sculptures, software code, and more. Nearly any creative work reduced to a tangible form can be copyrighted.
Why Photographers Should Register their Copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office
When a photographer creates a work, the copyright attaches automatically. You do not have to apply for a copyright to receive one.
However, by registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, you are provided with legal protection in that you have established a record of the work as of a certain date. Should a dispute arise in the future, you can point to your copyright filing, supporting that the work existed and was filed as of that date.
Filing a copyright registration is also important for seeking damages in the event of a copyright violation. If you registered the work with the Copyright Office, you may be entitled to statutory damages. For this, you need to register your work prior to the infringement or within 3 months of first publication.
Proving You are the Copyright Holder
In some situations, a violator of your copyright may challenge on the grounds that you did not create the work. Registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office is one way to prove that you are the rightful owner of the work, and that the work existed as of a certain date.
While the other party may try to argue that you did not create the work you submitted, you nonetheless have proof that you filed it on a date, which helps you establish your claim.
Securing Statutory Damages for Copyright Violations
Registering your copyright also helps protect you in the event of a violation. In addition to seeking monetary damages, as the copyright owner you may be entitled to statutory damages. This means that you may be able to secure an award of damages, without having to prove actual loss or profit.
Oftentimes, proving specific damages is difficult. Can you prove how many t-shirts were printed with your design? Can you show the revenue they received and the profits they earned? Can you prove how you were harmed by the unauthorized use of your work?
Work with Experienced Copyright Attorneys to Protect Your Rights
Registering your copyright may also decrease the chances of individuals violating your rights and using your work without permission or compensation. If someone wants to use a piece of work, they can check the registration to see who owns it. If you copyright your work, it is more difficult for someone to claim they did not know the work had copyright protection.
At Sanders Law Group, we work with hundreds of photographers and creative individuals to protect their work and their rights. We work with you to enforce those rights, whether via license, settlement, or trial. We are knowledgeable in all U.S. copyright laws, and the issues that arise during these cases.
Contact Us Today to Register and Protect Your Copyright
We know how hard creative individuals work to produce great content. Others should not be able to take your work from you without your permission. When they do, we can assist you in securing damages for their wrongful acts, injunctions against continued wrongs and other remedies.
The copyright attorneys at Sanders Law Group are committed to protecting the rights of creative individuals such as yourself, including registering copyrights, negotiating licensing agreements, and zealously advocating in copyright infringement cases.
If someone is using your work without your permission, call us at 888-348-3090 for a free case evaluation. We can help you collect the monetary compensation you deserve, and work to enforce your rights.