Understanding Copyrights

Understanding When You Need to Copyright

Protecting your creative works can sometimes seem like a difficult task. With all of the different legal methods and strategies in place, the average business owner can’t make heads or tails of what type of protection to get on which product. There are trademarks, patents, trade secrets, copyrights, and all manner of other terms that are thrown around, but knowing which applies to what type of process can make your head spin. When it comes to getting copyright, the first step is knowing what it protects.

Having the Unique Features

The eight separate categories that copyrights apply to include:

  • literature
  • music
  • drama
  • movies, audio/visual, or other motion pictures
  • architecture
  • dance choreograph/pantomime
  • sound recordings
  • sculptures, pictures, and graphical work

It is important to understand that these categories are very broad by nature, and that you may need to consult with a business attorney to really determine if your work qualifies. Beyond just fitting into one of these categories, your work must also have some distinguishing feature. The copyrighting law goes into some specifics on this, but the important factor to remember is that your creation must go beyond a general idea. For example, if you want to copyright some architecture, you might need to add some unique and original design, or augment it with unique features. In other words, you cannot copyright an idea, but you can copyright a specific expression of the idea.

Obtaining a Copyright

Once an individual actually has a product that he can legally protect with copyright, he typically seeks out the help of a Boston business attorney to get the process in motion. Though you can submit an application directly to the U.S. Copyright Office, the process can sometimes be confusing for those who are unfamiliar with the details. The typical time period to obtain copyright is only 3 months, but if you fail to fill out the paperwork properly it could get rejected or the process could be dragged on for a much longer period. Instead, consulting with an experienced attorney can help ensure that the process is done smoothly and your work is protected as soon as possible. This ensures you can go on with business without worrying that your precious work will be stolen. When you find that you have questions about the copyright process and wish to consult with a Boston business attorney on the best ways to ensure you get the best protection, contact Jeffrey Cymrot of Sassoon & Cymrot for individual guidance and consultation.

We're Excited to Announce!

Sassoon Cymrot Law and Grossman & Associates have joined together into one firm under the Sassoon Cymrot Law name effective May 1, 2021.