Are you looking to start work on copyrighted material in New York State? This comprehensive guide will walk you through navigating copyright laws in New York, understanding rights of ownership, finding legal counsel, and learning more about the resources available to you.

In the United States, copyright law is contained in the Copyright Act of 1976 and other legislation, such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. According to copyright law, the author of a creative work is the holder of the copyright to that work and enjoys exclusive control over how it is used and distributed. In other words, unless you have a license, you cannot reproduce or distribute copyrighted material, even if you are in a state where copyright law does not explicitly apply.

Copyright law in New York State is granted by the federal government but, in some cases, supplemented by state laws. As such, you should understand the different aspects of both federal and state law before you begin working with copyrighted material. In New York, copyright infringement can carry significant fines, legal costs, damages and other penalties, so it’s important to make sure you’re familiar with state and federal regulations.

Legal Rights

If you are considering using or creating copyrighted material in New York, it is important to understand your rights and the rights of others. Generally, you may not copy, distribute, or otherwise use any copyrighted material without first obtaining a license from the copyright holder. In certain circumstances, fair use of copyrighted material may be allowed. Fair use is a concept that allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the holder, usually for personal or scholarly purposes.

It’s important to note that fair use is not a blanket permission to use copyrighted material. Instead, the fair use doctrine outlines circumstances in which such material may be used without permission. The law does not provide an exact definition of fair use but lays out four primary factors that influence its application: the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount of the material used, and the effect of the use on the potential market for the copyrighted work.

Legal Counsel

Obtaining legal counsel is the best way to ensure that you’re taking all the necessary steps to protect yourself and your interests when using or creating copyrighted material. In order to find the right legal advisor, you should look for someone who is familiar with copyright law, particularly in the context of your specific use or creation.

In New York City, the best place to start your search is with UpCounsel. UpCounsel provides access to a network of experienced lawyers who can help you understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to copyright law. The lawyers on UpCounsel have an average of 14 years of experience across a variety of legal matters, including copyright law. Furthermore, you can see client ratings and reviews of recent work within the profiles of the lawyers on UpCounsel.


Finally, it is important to familiarize yourself with the numerous resources available regarding New York copyright law. Many of these resources can be accessed for free on the internet. One such resource is the United States Copyright Office, which provides basic information on copyright law and the process of filing a copyright application.

Other resources are available in New York, such as the Copyright Society of New York State, which offers workshops, lectures, and other events on copyright law. The New York City Bar Association also hosts events and seminars on copyright law and related topics.


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