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Copyright Lawyer Safeguarding You Against Unauthorized Use of Your Work

If you run a website, own a brand, write, produce music, or otherwise produce art or other intellectual works, you have certain ownership rights with regard to whatever you produce. Understanding how copyright law works is critical to protecting your work product. A copyright lawyer from ESQgo®, PC can help you understand your rights and take the necessary steps to guard against or respond to the unauthorized use of your work. 

The Basics of Copyright Law

Copyright law prohibits others from using copyright-protected works without the author’s consent. Copyright is governed by federal law, protecting “original works of authorship” in any tangible medium. As a result, copyright law covers the following types of work: 

  • Photographs
  • Writing
  • Music and sound recordings
  • Architectural works
  • Choreographic works
  • Sculptures, paintings, and other artistic works

This is not an exhaustive list. If you are curious about whether you are entitled to copyright protection, a copyright lawyer from ESQgo®, PC, can provide you with valuable guidance. As soon as you produce one of the works listed above, you technically are already entitled to copyright protection. In other words, you do not need to register for a copyright every time you create something. However, federal copyright registration does provide numerous advantages:

  • It grants the copyright owner the ability to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement.
  • It creates a clear record of ownership.
  • It establishes the date of the creation of your work.
  • It strengthens your ability to enforce your rights. 
  • It minimizes the possibility of disputes.

When someone uses your copyrighted work without permission, you may have a copyright infringement claim against them, but a copyright owner cannot file a lawsuit to enforce or protect its copyright until the U.S. Copyright Office has issued a registration. 

What is Not Protected by Copyright?

Generally speaking, ideas are not protected by copyright. If you have an idea for a story or product and your colleague then uses the idea to actually write the story or develop the product, your idea is not protected by copyright, and you do not have an infringement claim. While most people already understand that, the ideas contained in your work are also not protected by copyright. In other words, an idea that you express in a piece of writing may later be created without infringing on your copyright. 

What is “Poor Man’s Copyright?” 

“Poor man’s copyright” is the practice of sending a copy of your work to yourself. It does not create any greater protection than you already have and is not a substitute for a registered copyright. 

Is My Copyright Enforceable Outside of the United States?

A copyright may be enforceable in many other countries through a network of treaties and conventions. If your work is in circulation or otherwise available in other countries, a copyright lawyer can help you understand your options. 

Work with a Copyright Lawyer from ESQgo, PC

At ESQgo®, PC, we provide a broad array of services to creatives and copyright holders to help them protect their intellectual property. Whether you are considering registration or need to pursue an infringement claim, we can help – contact us today to schedule a consultation.