For anyone living in New York and looking to secure a copyright for their work, there are several important contrasts they need to be aware of. Copyright law in the United States is governed by the US Copyright Act, which legally protects the rights of authors (and other creative minds behind creative works) to their work. But New York has an extensive legal history, and as such, has developed its own unique remedies and interpretations of the law that other states may not have. In order to make sure your copyright is duly protected, here are 5 things to consider when dealing with copyright law in New York.

1. Constitutional merits.

In New York, copyright law can be said to have constitutional merits, as the state does recognize increased protection for those exercising their rights via the state’s section in the US Constitution. This means that any work created in the state of New York will be legally and constitutionally protected. This protection does not necessarily extend to anyone residing outside of the state, so it’s important to account for this if you’re living in the state and/or only offering services within it.

2. Copyright registration.

In order to ensure your work in New York is completely protected, it’s important to properly document, copyright, and register your work in the state of New York. This means that it must be registered with the Copyright Office in the state of New York, so the US Copyright Office can recognize the work for both an implied and statutory copyright protection. This process can be done online and leads to better protection and fewer potential challenges to the validity of your copyright.

3. Length of protection.

In New York, the length of copyright protection is roughly the same as other states—a work remains protected for 70 years after the author’s death and 95 years if it is a corporation. As well as that, the US Copyright Law also offers an extra layer of protection—the ‘Fair Use’ exception—which is available to those looking to repurpose existing works.

4. Reasonable use.

Copyright infringement, or improperly using someone’s copyrighted work without permission, is a major concern when it comes to intellectual property in New York. As such, it is important to be aware that you cannot use someone else's work without their consent, even if it is only a portion of the original. This also applies to derivative works, which are created via creative transformations of an existing work. When in doubt, it is always wise to consult with an expert in copyright as well as consult with the other party in order to secure permission or a license in order to use a work.

5. Expert guidance.

Enlisting the help of an experienced copyright lawyer can not only ensure your work is completely and properly protected, but can also help avoid any potential legal issues that can arise due to copyright infringement or abuse of the copyrighted works of another. Experienced copyright counsel can help to make sure all the proper legal paperwork is submitted to the Copyright Office, and also provide legal aid should any issues arise.


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