Redwood City Copyright Law Attorney
Protect Your Intellectual Property from Copyright Infringement
There are as many kinds of creators as there are creative projects to pursue. In the modern world, sharing or distributing these creative projects can happen at the click of a button. While convenient, this ease of access is often accompanied by copyright infringement issues. Additionally, people who are aware of the legal issues know that the risk of being caught is relatively low.
Fortunately, there are copyright laws in place which give creators the ability to protect their own creative works, and it's not difficult to prove copyright in court. When a violation of these rights occurs, the creator can defend their ownership by seeking legal recourse. The Redwood City copyright lawyers at Winghart Law Group, Inc. have experience solving infringement disputes through litigation.
If you suspect unauthorized use of your work, contact our offices today to discuss your legal options with our Redwood City copyright lawyers.
What Is Copyright?
Copyright is a legal term that refers to a creator’s exclusive right to control their own work. To receive copyright protection, this creative work must be fully expressed or realized.
Ideas, concepts, procedures, and methods are not covered by copyright laws because they are immaterial. Instead, copyrighted works can include any of the following:
- Computer programs
- Architectural designs
A creator enjoys rights over their expressed works from the moment of that work’s creation. However, enforcing these rights when a dispute occurs may require taking formal steps. A Redwood City copyright attorney can help to get a creative work formally registered to bolster its legal protections.
What Rights Do Copyright Laws Grant Creators?
The U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 is a federal law that grants creators two kinds of rights over their creative works. A creator’s moral rights under copyright law include:
- The right of attribution (to receive credit for the work)
- The right to have their work published anonymously or pseudonymously
- The right to the integrity of the work (the ability to object to alterations, distortions, or mutilations of the work)
Federal copyright laws also protect the economic rights of creators. This means that creators have the right to receive financial rewards from the use of their copyrighted materials.
The economic rights of creators grant them exclusive power to decide how and when their work is:
- Distributed to the public
- Reproduced for consumption
- Adapted to another medium
- Translated into another language
How Long Does Copyright Last?
Copyright protection lasts for a long time--generally, the entire life of the author plus 70 years. This is a little different for works published before 1978 (when the 1976 Act came into effect). In these cases, all works are guaranteed at least 25 years of statutory protection. Other regulations for these types of works are meant to provide similar protections as works that came after them.
Get Help From a Copyright Lawyer to Resolve a Dispute
What is Copyright Infringement?
When there is a violation of one of the above rights, this violation is a copyright infringement. There are a few ways a creator can seek to settle a copyright infringement issue. Sometimes, an informal consultation with the offending party is enough to persuade them to discontinue their unauthorized use of the work. In other cases, a formal cease and desist letter gets the job done.
If these attempts fail to bring an end to the copyright infringement, creators may pursue civil litigation. Taking the issue to federal court may result in an injunction prohibiting the offending party from continued use of the copyrighted material. Further, the creator may receive monetary damages or compensation for any financial rewards the offending party accrued as a result of the infringement. It is also possible to recover compensation for attorney’s fees and court costs.
Of course, copyright litigation cases can often be difficult and time-consuming. This is because there are some uses of copyrighted works that do not qualify as a violation of the creator’s rights. For example, it is legal to use copyrighted materials for reasons of fair use. This includes uses that serve to critique, comment upon, or parody the work. Copyrighted materials can also be legally used for educational and research purposes.
For this reason, it is best to seek help from an experienced copyright attorney in Redwood City about questions of infringement. This is because a copyright lawyer can assess the use of copyrighted materials and advise the creator concerning the legality of that use.
Copyrighted material is a kind of intellectual property susceptible to unauthorized use. The Redwood City copyright attorney at Winghart Law Group, Inc. protects various types of intellectual property for creators in Palo Alto and the Bay Area.