Have you been thinking about protecting some of your creative work? Whether you’re an artist, author, or designer, understanding some of the fundamental copyrights laws of New York can help you make informed decisions about protecting your creative work.

Copyright law is a branch of intellectual property law that protects the vision, ideas, and expression of creative work, such as books and movies. In the United States, copyright is a form of protection of work offered by the federal government, providing limited rights to creators for exclusive rights to display, reproduce, distribute, and prepare derivative works based on the original material. In this article, we will explore the fundamentals of securing proper copyright protection and the most important considerations when doing so in New York.

What is Copyright Law?

Copyright is a form of intellectual property law that creates a bundle of exclusive rights for creators. The bundle of rights allows creators to prevent unauthorized use or misuse of their work anywhere in the world. The doctrine of copyright law applies to original works expressed in a tangible form, such as a book, movie, audio recording, or computer software. Copyright grants the rights to those who create the work, as well as those to whom they assign such rights.

Copyright can also be used in the realm of trademark and patent law. Trademarks are used to protect words, symbols, and products from competitors, while patents are used to protect processes or methods. Both of these intellectual property forms must meet all the requirements of copyright protection to be considered enforceable in the US.

What Rights Does Copyright Law Provide?

Under copyright law, the rights of the copyright owner are as follows:

The right to reproduce, or make copies of the work;

The right to create derivative works based on the work;

The right to distribute copies of the work;

The right to publicly perform or display the work;

The right to digitally transmit the work; and

The right to transfer ownership of the copyright and all rights inherent with it.

Copyright protection does not extend to the idea or concept underlying the work, only to the form of expression. Therefore, while an artist cannot sue other artists for creating similar works, they can sue if a third party profits from reproducing the work without authorization.

What is Subject to Copyright Protection in New York?

In the US, copyright protection applies to any original creative work that is in some type of physical form, such as a painting, book, novel, photograph, song, or software. The work must also adhere to several criteria in order to be considered copyrightable:

The work must be original – that is, it must not include copied portions of other peoples’ work;

The work must be expressed in fixed form, such as a book, CD, or computer file; and

The work must be the product of creative skill and effort.

In addition to these criteria, the work must have been either published in the United States or made available to the public in some way, such as making it available for sale or giving it away.

What are Some of the Benefits of Copyright Protection?

Copyright protection provides a unique way for creators, authors, and artists to protect their work from unfair use or unauthorized replication. Owning a copyright for your work gives you the following benefits:

The exclusive right to use the work for any purpose;

The right to earn money from the work;

Control over how, and in what form, the work is used;

The right to take legal action against any person who infringes on the copyright; and

The right to transfer rights to the work to another person or company.

Seeking Help on How to Protect Copyrights in New York

As copyright law can be complex, it’s essential to approach copyright protection with the help of a knowledgeable attorney. A business lawyer in the United States can provide valuable advice on proper copyright management, helping you understand how to protect your work properly. It’s important to understand a copyright may be lost if it goes unrecognized or unregistered, which can prevent you from receiving the protection you are due. The experienced attorneys from UpCounsel can provide exceptional counsel and advocacy on copyright protection throughout New York.

If you have work that you would like to protect, contact UpCounsel today for experienced and caring legal service. Our attorneys are ready to provide the support and advice necessary to ensure your work is kept safe. Connecting with an UpCounsel lawyer will give you the peace of mind knowing your copyright is secure and protected, allowing you to focus on sharing and people to appreciate your work.


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