Copyright protects original literary, musical, and artistic works. It grants authors or creators the exclusive right to produce, distribute, assign, license, or do other things with the work. Copyright protection usually starts at the moment of creation and lasts for 70 years after the creator has died.
A copyright owner can significantly enhance the protection afforded by copyright by registering the copyright with the local Copyright Office.
What Can be Protected by Copyright?
Copyright law applies to a broad range of intellectual property including:
- Writings of almost any kind—books, articles, reviews, poems, essays, blogs, etc., whether online or in print, and plays or writings for movies or broadcast
- Website contents including text, pictures, graphics, and even the page layout
- Computer programs—including business, personal, and entertainment
- Motion pictures or audio—movies, TV programs, podcasts, etc.
- Music—including lyrics and instrumentals, both recorded and performed
- Artistic works—visual arts of any kind including paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc., but also including graphics, maps, charts, and photography
- Original architectural designs—including designs for municipal, commercial, and residential buildings and structures such as bridges, highways, and tunnels
As a business, you need to protect your works accordingly. If you have a web application or a website, you may copyright the source codes, and graphics. You can also protect marketing materials including marketing copy and jingles, podcasts, training videos and graphics.
If you are in the entertainment space, you can register your scripts, cinematography, motion picture, plays and musical works. These works can generate substantial royalty income for discerning creatives.
Copyright protection rules are fairly similar worldwide, due to several international copyright treaties. These rights are automatic, without the need for the author to take legal steps to preserve the copyright.
We want to help you on your journey towards generating wealth from your intellectual property. If you need more advice on how to develop and leverage your copyrighted assets, please contact us for a consultation.