When it comes to intellectual property law, one of the most important areas is copyrights. When businesses have a need to protect their creative and original work, skills, ideas, and investments, copyrights are the foremost solution. An understanding of copyrights is essential in Dallas and Austin, due to the high growth in business and tech startups in the region.

In this article we discuss the most common questions asked by executives and business owners about copyrights. We provide comprehensive answers to each question along with information on how businesses in the Dallas area can secure copyrights to protect their original work and investments.

Questions Regarding Copyrights

What are copyrights?

What types of works can be copyrighted?

How do I copyright a work?

Are copyrights secure?

What is the difference between patents, trademarks, and copyrights?

What if another company infringes on my copyrighted work?

Answers to Questions Regarding Copyrights

What are Copyrights?

Copyrights are a set of exclusive rights granted to the creator of an original work. A copyright protects any type of creative work that can be accessed or displayed like writing, visual arts, music, film, and software. This means that once the copyright is secured, it prevents other people or businesses from using it without a permission or a license.

What Types of Works Are Considered Copyrightable?

The following types of works are deemed as copyrightable by the U.S. Copyright Office:

Literary works like novels, stories, poems, essays, journal articles, textbooks, song lyrics, dissertations.

Musical compositions, operas, folk songs, symphonies, musical scores.

Dramatic works like plays, screenplays, television scripts, and musicals.

Pantomimes and choreographic works that tell a story or express certain emotions.

Pictorial and graphic works like drawings, photographs, paintings, and sculptures.

Motion picture and other audiovisual works like commercials, documentaries, and music videos.

Sound recordings of the above-mentioned musical works.

Architectural works like buildings and sculptures.

Software and computer designs.

How Do I Secure a Copyright?

In order to copyright a work, it is important to do the following:

Create a statement affirming authorship of the work.

Record the date of publication of the work.

Place a copyright notice and a copyright symbol, “©”, on the work.

Secure a copyright registration with the U.S. Copyright Office.

The first steps listed above can be done by the creator of the work without the need for formal government registration. But, obtaining official registration with the U.S. Copyright Office provides additional legal benefits and protection.

Are Copyrights Secure?

Copyrights are more secure than other forms of intellectual property rights like patents, as they are monitored based on the Copyright Act of 1976. This includes federal laws applicable in the fifty states, including Texas. Additionally, a copyright legal team protects businesses in Dallas from infringements, meaning unauthorized or illegal use of copyrighted works.

What is the Difference Between Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights?

Patents, copyrights, and trademarks represent three distinct forms of intellectual property.

Patents provide developers of products or processes a legal right to the exclusive use of their invention.

Trademarks provide businesses the legal right to the use of a company name, logo, or slogan.

Copyrights protect any original and creative work.

What Happens When a Company Infringes on My Copyrighted Work?

As a business owner, you have the right to take legal action against a company that uses your copyrighted work without permission. With the help of your legal team, you can initiate a case with the court or an arbitration forum.

In the legal process, the defendant will be asked to provide evidence that proves that they had the right to use the copyrighted material. If they are unable to provide such evidence, the court or arbitration forum will make a decision in favor of the obtained owner of the copyrighted work.

The legal team can also help you in seeking monetary damages, protecting your reputation, seeking restraining orders against the infringement, copyright infringement fees, and other such remedies.

The essence

When it comes to protecting any type of original creative works, copyrights are the best legal recourse. Understanding how copyrights work and its advantages, applicable laws, and processes are essential for businesses in the Dallas area. In this article, we have discussed the most common questions about copyrights.

For assistance when trying to secure a copyright, consulting with a qualified lawyer on UpCounsel can provide you with the insight and experience you need. Our attorneys understand the laws applicable in the region and have the expertise essential to provide successful outcomes for their clients.