Establishing copyright ownership and complying with copyright law is a crucial part of protecting the intellectual property of any work. In Chicago, all copyright issues must be heard in federal court — meaning understanding local regulations is essential. To assist in this process, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about copyrights in Chicago that individuals must take into account.This list provides general information on copyrights, including what they protect, along with strategies for registration and enforcement.

What is copyright?

Copyright is a form of intellectual property that gives creators the exclusive right to control how their work is used or distributed for a certain period of time. Through copyright, authors, musicians, artists, and other creators are able to receive economic benefit for their works. Copyright protects creative expression, including artistic, literary, and musical works, as well as other creative works like certain computer codes and videos.

What are the differences between copyright and trademark?

Copyright and trademark are two distinct forms of intellectual property. Copyright protects creative works such as books, songs, films, and art. It does not, however, protect inventions, unique names, titles, or slogans – these are protected by trademark.

How does copyright registration work?

In Chicago, copyright registration must be done through the federal court. This process involves submitting the original work to be copyrighted, along with an application and the accompanying fee. Once accepted, the work is registered and is eligible for full copyright protection. It's important to note that copyright protection begins the moment the work is created, whether or not it is registered.

How long does copyright last?

Copyright protection typically lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years. After this time period expires, the work goes into the public domain and is no longer protected by copyright law.

How can I enforce my copyright in Chicago?

If you believe your copyright is being infringed, you may file a formal complaint with the federal court in Chicago. Additionally, you may work with an experienced copyright lawyer who understands local regulations. An experienced lawyer can help you craft a strategy to protect your intellectual property and provide counsel regarding the registration process.

When should I hire a copyright lawyer?

Hiring a copyright lawyer is highly recommended since they have extensive knowledge of copyright laws and regulations and can provide valuable advice on how to protect your rights as a creator. A copyright lawyer can also help you with the registration process, filing a complaint if your copyright is infringed, and negotiate with other parties if necessary.




copyright registration