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Understanding Copyright Law
Copyright law is a set of laws that is used to regulate things such as movies, plays, poems, musical compositions, drawings, paintings, sculptures, software, photographs, sculptures, literary works, choreographic works, radio broadcasts, televisions broadcasts and more. Copyright law is only regulated to cover the manner or form in which the information or material is expressed. For instance, it does not cover the idea or facts which are represented in a work. In instances where a copyright does not exist, patents or trademarks may be in place which can impose legal restrictions.
Copyright law states that the holder of the copyright has the right to make copies or reproduce the work to sell. They can also export or import the work, create derivative or adaptation of the original work, display or perform the work publicly and assign or sell the rights to someone else. Copyright law is set up to protect people from having someone do something with their copyrighted work or material. Someone that has a copyright may choose to exploit their copyrighted work, or they may choose not to. Many people debate whether copyright law and copyrights are moral rights or merely property rights. It is important to note that in the U.S. copyright law covers protection for published and unpublished works.
Copyright law protection covers a work from the time it is created in a tangible form. The author or creator of the work immediately holds the copyright to the work and it is the property of the author or creator. No one else can claim copyright to it, unless the original copyright holder (the author or creator) gives or sells the rights to another person.
Many people fail to understand that merely owning or possessing a work does not give them the copyright to it. Just because you have ownership of a copyrighted work does not mean that you own the copyright. Likewise, if you copy someone?s work and list their name on it, you are undertaking copyright infringement.
Many people also fail to understand when copyright protection is secured. The moment a work is written or created and it is in physical tangible form or recorded it falls under copyright law. While it is recommended to register your work through the Copyright Office, if your work is not registered and someone steals your work, they have violated your copyright. Using a copyright notice is not required by law. However, many recommended that the copyright notice or symbol be used so remind the general public that the piece is under copyright. Anything that is created after 1977 is protected by copyright law for the lifetime of the author of the creator, plus an additional 70 years after the creator?s death.
The public domain is a good source of information that is no longer under a copyright or work that was never under a copyright to begin with. Virtually all works that were created or published in the United States prior to 1923 are said to be in the public domain. Things that can be found in the public domain that are free of copyright law generally include generic facts and information, works that have a lapse in their copyrights (this encompasses works that were created prior to 1978) and materials and information put out by the United States government. In addition, you may find works in the public domain that are free of copyright law because it has been dedicated to the public domain.
Copyright Infringement Statistics Copyright infringement statistics, by most standards are inflated. Most recent copyright infringement statistics cite that almost 30 percent of software is pirated in the United States of America. This means that they think 30 percent of the software on your computer is illegal? they think we?re all thieves, to an extent. However, copyright holders have good reason to worry that we?re violating their rules: the number of suspects referred to the United States attorneys with an Intellectual Property lead charge increased twenty six percent in the period between 2002 and 2004 ? and there have been studies that show that this is rising. Copyright infringement statistics are difficult to come by, but it?s plain to see it?s affecting every aspect of intellectual copy. Copyright infringement statistics show that in addition to software privacy, there are a lot of violations in the music world. Copyright infringement statistics show that many unsuspecting people, from college students to thirty-something a professional, download music on a consistent basis, and often it?s not downloaded legally. Often times, someone will download a song off a MySpace or YouTube page, without giving thought to who really owns the copyright and if it?s legal for them to have it. Copyright infringement statistics, brought to us by the music recording industry, would have us believe that online infringement is seriously hurting the recording industry. A sensible person, however, would realize that with the abundance of MP3 sales sites that this will turn quickly and recording giants will see the huge profits available online. It?s already begun, you see, we have yet to see the impact of online music sales, and how it will increase revenue. I?m sure, with the huge talent pool at their disposal, the media giants will find a way to monetize the internet to their fullest advantage. Copyright infringement statistics also show that many people are downloading games off the internet. With the litany of games available to us ? from complete alternate worlds such as World of Warcraft to the more mainstream ?The Sims? series, people are clamoring for PC games ? and for good reason. They?re fun, intelligent games that play on a system everyone has ? a computer. Because of this, people are always looking for new games to play and download, and they may download a game without knowing that it?s not ?freeware? (as many internet games are). In addition to computer games, copyright infringement statistics also show that movies are downloaded in abundance on the internet. Many peer to peer file distribution sites and programs (such as bit torrent or Kazaa) allow for the transfer of very large files, and they?re easy to find online. Using a tool provided by one of many suppliers, users can search for any item they like ? and, of course, the system is abused and people download copyrighted movies and entire DVDs instead of publicly available works. Copyright infringement also branches into written works, such as articles, books, poems, etc. Many times, a student will copy a paragraph or two without realizing the implications of such copying. While they may think of it as ?borrowing?, if it?s used on a grander scale, the person could be opening themselves up to a large court fight, especially if it?s used commercially. As you can see, copyright infringement statistics show us that many people are using copyrighted works illegally. Do your best diligence when using another?s work ? and ask for permission every time you want to use something that you haven?t created. Chances are, if you just ask the question up front you?ll save yourself from becoming another copyright infringement statistic and save yourself from a major lawsuit.
Copyright lawyer search Easy Ways to Finding a Good Copyright Lawyer Search with the Internet There are a few easy ways to find a good copyright lawyer search while using the internet, however just typing in the phrase doesn?t always work. You must know how to use a search engine; after all you don?t just want the first person that pops up. No, you want that best person for the job representing you, it doesn?t matter what your copyright issue is. If it has come to a time that you actually need to do a copyright lawyer search than chances are you are being sued or want to sue someone, this means you want someone that knows what they are doing and hopefully has a little experience under their belt. First, you can go to any search engine and type in ?Copyright lawyer?, search for the first ten or look on the sides where all the ads are. Remember, companies pay money to have their ads on the side, maybe they are great. The only way you?ll be finding out is if you click on them and explore. You may even want to type in more than one phrase, ?Copyright lawyer+intellectual property.? This search would bring up even more lawyers pages that deal with copyright issues, which is what you should be looking for in the first place. Now you?ve narrowed down the field by thousands. Once you?ve found a lawyer you make want to make sure he is in your area. There are sites that will help you determine this by putting in your zip code or state in which you live, this will bring you to a page with all the lawyers that specialize in that field that live near you. You may not be as lucky as some and actually have to drive to get to one; however it?ll be worth it since they know what they are doing. Don?t forget to do a search of the lawyer before you make any final decisions, you may actually find a review or two on him/her. Wouldn?t it be nice to know how they rank compared to others in this field? You can even find that out as you do are on a search for a copyright lawyer, just type it in like you did for intellectual property. Ask any questions you may have on the phone and after hanging up you may want to ask around and see if anyone you know has ever dealt with that lawyer. If you have your own lawyer you may want to ask him/her whom they may recommend that you go to in your situation. Lawyers know about others in the job and know the best way for you to get help is by using the one that specializes in whatever the need is. If you don?t have access to a computer you can do a copyright lawyer search by using a phone book. Look up lawyers inside the yellow pages and find one that specializes in the area you need, whether it is copyright laws, infringement or intellectual property. You may want to call several different lawyers and get a feel for which one could best represent you. Finding information has become easier since we have the internet, many people also fall under the idea that because there is so much information they don?t need to do a copyright lawyer search when the time comes. They basically get as much information they can find and use that in court. This doesn?t always work; sometimes the other side has a good lawyer and knows more tricks than you do. Which only leaves you footing a very big bill, don?t make this mistake?hire a lawyer.