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Copyright Registration for Videographers

Our Lawyers Help Videographers Register Their Copyrights

Copyright registration is a property right that protects original works from unauthorized use. It can protect many different types of original, creative works. Under federal copyright laws, you are entitled to protections, including:

  • Photographs
  • Books
  • Videos
  • Poems
  • Movies
  • Screenplays
  • Logos
  • Songs
  • Recordings
  • Paintings
  • Illustrations
  • Sculptures
  • Software Code
  • Website Content

If you create original work, whether you are an artist, author, designer, or videographer, you immediately hold the copyright to the tangible product. How does this benefit you?

Copyrights for Videographers

If you are a videographer, it means that the moment you create your video, you have certain exclusive property rights to it. There is no registration required to have a valid copyright. It is automatic. However, registering your copyright gives you additional protection and recovery options. Our US copyright attorneys help thousands of creative individuals such as yourself to protect and enforce their copyright interests.

What Is Copyright?

Having copyright means that your permission is necessary for anyone else to legally broadcast, copy, display, reproduce or distribute your work.

As the copyright holder, you get to decide who (if anyone) may or may not use your work and how. Licensing agreements allow creative professionals to earn money from their hard work without giving up all their rights.

For example, a copyright holder might enter into a licensing agreement that allows someone, for a fee, to use a small clip from a video they made in a single commercial that runs for no more than six months. Another copyright holder might grant unlimited use of a video they produced to a video game company. Some copyright holders might decide they don’t want anyone to use any part of their video for any reason or price.

Copyright Violations

People violate copyright by using work without the copyright holder’s permission or in violation of a licensing agreement. In some situations, you may have granted use of a video for one purpose but it is being used for a different purpose. You may have licensed it for a certain amount of usage (i.e., 50,000 plays) but the licensee has far exceeded that authorized amount.

When someone violates your copyright, it means you are likely not getting paid for your work. Whether paid or unpaid, the unauthorized use of your video may be copyright infringement. If so, you have the right to file a copyright infringement claim to recover monetary damages.

If you create videos or are a videographer, it is important you understand your rights and next steps when someone violates your copyright. Call our US copyright attorneys at the Sanders Law Group for a free consultation.

Why Videographers Should Register Copyright

As we pointed out above, registration is not required to hold a valid copyright to your videos. But like many people, you are probably wondering, “Why should I bother registering my copyright?” There are several good reasons, all of which can help you protect and enforce your hard work and legal rights.

Let’s start with one of the most important reasons videographers should register the copyright with the US Copyright Office: If you want to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement, you must have a valid copyright registration.

You may file your copyright registration any time your work is fixed tangibly. You may even file it after you discover copyright infringement. But you must receive a valid registration before filing your lawsuit.

That being said, the timing of your copyright registration matters. The sooner you file, the better. Why?

When you file a copyright infringement lawsuit, you are only eligible for “actual damages” for an infringement that occurs before registering. You are eligible for “statutory damages” for an infringement that occurs after registering.

Actual Damages vs. Statutory Damages for Copyright Violations

With actual damages, you must prove and quantify actual damages caused by the infringement. Actual damages are the amount of the true economic loss you experienced because of copyright infringement. For example, if someone copied your copyrighted video and sold it, you might be entitled to damages in the amount of the sale or profit the infringer received. Actual damages might also include the decreased value of your work in the marketplace that results from the infringement (where someone has flooded the market with your work). Actual damages can be very challenging to prove.

Statutory damages, however, are set by statute. Statutory damages do not need to be calculated based on your actual losses. The amount can range from $750 per infringed work to $30,000. In some cases, statutory damages for copyright infringement can be as high as $150,000 if the violation is willful. Statutory damages are often higher than actual damages.

The sooner you register your copyright with the copyright office, the sooner you are eligible for statutory damages if you are the victim of infringement.

Registering Copyright Also Creates a Public Record

Proving copyright ownership is part of every infringement lawsuit. You must prove you own the video, film, or photo that is the subject of the claim.

Filing a registration creates a public record that you own the material. If ownership is disputed, having a valid registration can help you establish your claim. With a valid copyright registration, the opposing side has the burden to prove you are not the copyright owner.

How Our Copyright Registration Attorneys Can Help You

Let our copyright attorneys at Sanders Law Group help with your copyright registration to ensure that it gets done correctly and your rights are protected to the maximum.

  • We have experience filing copyright registrations and copyright infringement lawsuits.
  • We understand how hard it can be for videographers to earn a living at your craft. We want to help protect your business and rights.
  • Our copyright attorneys can help you understand the registration and litigation processes if necessary.
  • We can ensure your copyright registration is filed timely and accurately.

Our experienced copyright lawyers at Sanders Law Group can also help you in the event litigation is needed to enforce your copyright. We thoroughly understand all US copyright laws and the issues that arise in intellectual property cases involving videos and videographers.

Call Our US Copyright Attorneys to Register Your Copyright and Protect Your Work

The videos you shoot and create are unique. They take time, creativity, and experience. Don’t you deserve compensation for your hard work? Is it fair for someone else to profit from your talent? We don’t think so, and neither should you.

At Sanders Law Group, we are dedicated to making sure that the full extent of the law protects the rights of creative individuals. Registering copyrights, negotiating licensing agreements, and navigating copyright infringement cases on behalf of videographers, photographers, artists, and writers are what we do best. Call us today for a free evaluation.

We can help you collect the monetary compensation you deserve and see to it that your ownership rights are enforced.

Contact Us to Discuss Your Copyright Matter

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