Fayetteville Copyright Infringement Lawyer

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A copyright is one of the protections provided by Arkansas and the United States for creators of original works. To create a copyrighted work, a person only needs to display a minimal level of creativity and put their work into a tangible form. However, despite how much creativity is used to create your work, you have the right to protect your work from anyone who would misuse it. If you need to protect your copyright from infringement, you should speak with an experienced Fayetteville copyright infringement lawyer today.

The copyright lawyers at Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP, have experience in several facets of copyright enforcement and litigation that we will use to protect your intellectual property rights. To schedule a confidential consultation with one of our dedicated lawyers, call us at (479) 439-9840.

What is a Copyright?

A copyright is designed to protect authors of original works. Copyright protections exist the moment you translate your work into a tangible medium or use a device that helps perceive your creation. Examples of original works that can be copyrighted include:

  • Novels and other literary works
  • Songs and lyrics
  • Choreographic or dramatic works such as a dance routine or play
  • Paintings and sculptures
  • Films
  • Architectural works
  • Computer programs

A copyrighted work can be created by more than one author. If two or more authors are involved in the creation of a copyrighted work, they will be considered joint authors, and will each possess an indivisible interest in the copyrighted work. As long as it was created on or after January 1, 1978, a copyright will last for the length of the author’s life, plus 70 years after the author’s death. If the work was created by more than one person, the copyright protection would last for 70 years after the last surviving author’s death.

A copyright owner has various exclusive rights, including:

  • The right to reproduce their work
  • The right to create derivative works based upon the original work
  • The right to sell their work to members of the public
  • The ability to transfer, rent, lease, or lend the rights to the copyright
  • The right to perform their work (music, motion picture, choreographic work, ,) publicly for financial gain
  • The right to display the work publicly (painting, sculpture, architectural work)

Copyrights cannot be used to protect ideas, processes, names, slogans, or symbols. However, other intellectual property rights may cover those things. If you wish to learn more about creating and protecting your copyright, you should consult with an experienced commercial litigation lawyer.

How to Protect Your Copyright from Infringement

While you may get copyright protections immediately after creating an original work, registering your copyright with U.S. Copyright Office will provide you with even more rights. For example, if you wish to enforce your copyright protections through litigation, you must register your work. If you place a copyright symbol, your name, and the date of first publication on your work, it will put the public on notice of your original work. However, a copyright notice cannot act as a substitute for registering your work.

Besides notifying the public of your original work, copyright registration offers many other benefits:

  • Providing solid evidence of the existence and validity of your copyright when you register within five years of the first publication of your work
  • If you register your work before it is infringed or within three months of the first publication, you will be eligible for statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, and other costs
  • A copyright owner can file a claim with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prevent the importation of items that infringe upon their work

It is important to note that you cannot file a lawsuit for copyright infringement until the U.S. Copyright Office approves or refuses your copyright application, though you may be able to take advantage of other protections. Additionally, an original work can be registered at any time, but it is wise to file for a copyright as soon as possible.

You may even be able to protect your copyrighted work in other countries, depending on the laws of that country. International copyright treaties have made it easier to protect your work in foreign countries if that country has entered into an agreement with the United States.

Our Fayetteville Intellectual Property Attorneys Can Help You Protect Your Copyrighted Work

If you believe that your copyright is being infringed, you should contact an experienced Fayetteville intellectual property attorney today. At Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP, we recognize the importance of protecting your creative work from people or businesses that seek to replicate it. Our dedicated attorneys have engaged in a number of copyright infringement cases, and we will use that invaluable experience to seek the legal outcome you deserve. To schedule a confidential consultation regarding your case, call us at (479) 439-9840, or reach us online.