It’s a common misconception that you can use images, quotes, products, and other items anywhere you want. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Copyright laws are designed to protect the original creators of intellectual property from having their work used without their permission. Whether you are a business owner in the United States or an individual looking to utilize various forms of intellectual property, it is important to not only be aware of the legal issues involved with copyrights but also how to work within the laws established to protect intellectual property. Here are the top 5 things to consider when dealing with copyrights.

1. Understand What’s Protected

Copyright laws pertain only to certain types of intellectual property. The most common forms of original work protected are books, articles, digital images, music compositions, and any artistic works. Additionally, software code, advertising slogans, and architectural designs are also legally protected. It is important to know what forms of work are covered by the copyright law so you don’t accidentally use protected intellectual property without permission.

2. Understand Your Rights

Copyright law gives a creator exclusive rights. One such right is the right to reproduce or copy the original work. This means that no other person or business can reproduce that same work without first obtaining permission from the copyright holder. The copyright holder also has the right to make any changes they deem necessary. This means, if a company wants to make any changes to a protected work, they will need to contact the copyright holder in order to make such changes. It is important to understand your rights as a creator of unique, intellectual property as they will allow you to take legal action if your rights are violated.

3. Pay Attention to Fair Use

Fair use is a doctrine in copyright law that allows the use of copyrighted material, as long as it is for a limited and ‘transformative’ purpose. This means, if you want to use a song, for example, as part of an educational video, that’s considered ‘transformative’ and therefore can be done under fair use. However, if you intend to use it for commercial purposes, then you will need to get permission from the copyright holder. It is important to pay attention to fair use clauses in the copyright law, as it may provide opportunities for you to legally use copyrighted material.

4. Utilize a Copyright Notice

Another way to protect your intellectual property is to include a copyright notice upon your work. While it isn’t required by law, it can provide an extra layer of protection. A copyright notice should include your name or company’s name, the year the work was created, and the © symbol. Additionally, you can also register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office for an additional layer of protection.

5. Get Advice From an Experienced Copyright Lawyer

Finally, it is important to get advice from a knowledgeable copyright lawyer in order to ensure that you are not infringing on any other party’s copyright rights. An experienced copyright attorney in New York will be able to provide you with the legal advice and guidance needed to ensure that your rights are protected and that you are not violating anyone’s rights.

When dealing with copyrights, it is important to be aware of your rights and the rights of the other party involved. Understanding the law is crucial when it comes to using others’ intellectual property. Additionally, it is important to utilize a copyright notice and to seek legal counsel. Doing so will help protect you and allow you to utilize copyrighted materials legally and in accordance with local regulations.


Copyright Law,

Copyright Notice,

Intellectual Property