We are approaching halfway through the year. The end of the second quarter. How are things going for you? Are you meeting your goals? Are you achieving what you want to achieve? I have some exciting new things coming up for the second-half of the year. I can’t wait to tell you more about them. But, I will wait until next week 😉 Until then, let’s continue our discussion on copyright. Today, let’s talk about registration of a copyright and why it matters.
Why Copyright Registration?
With Copyright, the protection of your work begins when you take an idea out of your head and fix it in a “tangible medium”, not when you file a copyright application with the United States Copyright Office.
Registration of a Copyright, however, gives you protections you do not have by simply providing the notice described above. If you register your copyright, you gain some advantages. Among these are:
- Creating a public record of your copyrighted work
- It is a requirement before you can file a claim for copyright protection in court.
- If you file for copyright protection within five years of publishing your copyrighted work, it may be all you need to prove your copyright protection.
- If you file for copyright protection within three months of publication, you will be awarded statutory damages and attorneys’ fees in court. If not, you will only be able to claim actual damages and lost profits in a court action.
- You can register the copyright with U.S. Customs Services to protect from importation of infringing works.
What Can I Register
Some types of creative works are obvious, and you know you should register your works. But, when you are creating content as a part of a marketing strategy or you are creating online books to give away or to sell in your online business, you need to make a business decision about what makes sense to protect. Copyright protection is designed for a number of different categories. Of course, these categories should be viewed quite broadly. The categories have been around for a while, but online business has changed the types of works that are registered under certain categories. You may be surprised at how your creative works fits into the overall scheme of copyright law.
- Literary works
- Musical works, including any accompanying words
- Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
- Pantomimes and choreographic works
- Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
- Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
- Sound recordings
- Architectural works
Intellectual Property is such an important part of business. As such, it is important to consider the impact it may have on your business. Protection of your intellectual property is one of the most important legal decisions you may make for your business. Think about it the next time you create a white paper, blog post, e-book, podcast, or video tutorial. Are you doing everything you can to protect the intellectual property of your business? Have you thought about the pros and cons of the expense of registering your copyright?
As with so many other things we talk about here on Friday mornings, this is something I am working through in my business. As I have begun to create a number of works that have copyright protection, I am considering what makes sense in my business. In the world of online business, things move quickly. It doesn’t matter what your decision is, it is your business. The real question is: have you truly considered it as an overall part of your business plan? If you are using content in your business. If your business is content, how would it impact you if you could not recoup damages or attorneys’ fees to protect your business? Does it matter to your business?
Just some things to think about as we go into the weekend.
I will talk to you next week (with some exciting news!), unless you talk to me first 😉