I. Why do we need copyright?

Let’s look at some cases where copyright can become a problem.

* My program’s source code is replicated and used in competitor’s computer programs.

* The photographs that I took are being used in magazines without my permission to promote other people’s products.

* I have registered my manuscript with the American Writer’s Association. Is this enough to protect me?

* The same floral design I recently created to use at my clothing company is being used elsewhere without my permission.

* My former band member is using and distributing a song I have written and composed.

* Someone else has downloaded all the content and graphics from my website and used it on their website.

* I plan to create a short animation and present it at many film festivals. Will my main character’s name and appearance be protected even before the entry?

* Is it true that I won’t receive licensing fee if I don’t register copyright for my song?

*If I want to send an outline of the screenplay to the production company hoping to get a contract agreement, is my screenplay protected or can the production company take it away?

In the above cases, if there were applications for copyright registration, we could have protected it.

II. Protection under Copyright Law

The grounds for copyright protection can be found in Article 17 of the U.S. Federal Law. This applies to the author of the original, such as literature, theatre, music, and art. Both published and unpublished works are protected. In accordance with Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act, the copyright holder has the right to the following.

  1. The right to replicate the work
  2. The right to create a second work based on the original.
  3. The right to distribute copies or recordings of work to the public through sale, transfer of ownership, or rental.
  4. The right to publicly perform literature, music, theatre, dance moves, pantomime, films, and other audiovisual work.
  5. The right to publicly display copyrighted works such as photographs, graphics or sculptures that contain each image of literature, music, theatre, dance moves, pantomime, films, and other visual work.
  6. In the case of recording, the right to publicly perform the work in the manner of digital audio transmission.

III. How do I exercise my copyright?

Simply, we will prepare and apply for copyright registration. Why is it important to have a registered copyright?

* Registering officially record the copyright, and will notify the world.

* Registration is a prerequisite for filing a copyright infringement lawsuit in the United States.

* If you register a copyright within five years of copyright and publication/release, it acts as evidence to estimate the validity of the facts on the certificate.

* If your work was copyrighted prior to copyright infringement, you can claim certain additional damages. In addition, the winning party may be entitled to attorney’s fees. If you are not registered in advance, you will only be entitled to compensation for actual damages incurred. (Must register a copyright prior to filing a complaint)

* Registration allows the copyright holder to apply to the U.S Customs and Border Protection to prevent the import of infringing work.

IV. What are the subjects of copyright registration?

There are limitless things that can be registered as copyright.

The copyright subject can include things such as Novel/non-fiction manuscripts. computer  website, , music, book, thesis papers, collective work, program, advertisement, reference work, report, binding/sheet book, data or other literary collection, brochure, pamphlet, catalog, single song in a music album, confidential tests, speech, article, online work, textbook, game, poster, commercial prints, label, drawing, photo, wall photo, sculpture, montage, advertising stickers on car bumpers, printed drawings, miniature, illustrations applied to clothing or other practical items, dolls, toys, sewing patterns, knitting, crochet, embroidery, artificial flowers and plants, mosaic replicas, lithographs, original works, textile, wallpaper designs, puzzles, enamel works, record jacket photos or illustrations, greeting cards, postcards, stationery, stained glass design, color types, embroidery and craft kits, cartoons, hologram, hologram and laser illustrations, maps, and etc.