Avoid Being Ripped Off

Registration, while not required, is an extremely beneficial tool when it comes to copyright infringement. If your copyright is registered, you are able to recover attorney’s fees and it is always a good thing when the other party pays your attorney’s fees. In addition, by registering your copyright you are entitled to statutory damages rather than having to prove your actual damages.

However, the biggest reason to register your copyright is that you can’t sue an infringer if you haven’t registered your copyright. Thus, while you can claim copyright without registration, that claim is of little use when it comes to enforcing your rights if you have failed to register your copyright.

How Epiphany Law Can Help

Epiphany Law has helped designers, architects, authors and artists protect their work by assisting with copyright registration with the United States Copyright Office. Copyright registration is another example of the “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” adage.

In addition, if your rights are ever infringed, Epiphany Law is there to thwart the perpetrator. Whether it is negotiating reasonable compensation for the owner or filing a suit for infringement, Epiphany Law will aggressively protect your interest.

Questions & Answers

Q: How do I inform others of my copyright claim? 
A: Informing others of your copyright claim is relatively straightforward. You simply need to include the following: © “Year of First Publication” “Name of Copyright Owner.” An example would be “© 2010 Epiphany Law, LLC.”

Q: What is a “Work for Hire?” 
A: “Work for Hire” is a term of art when it comes to copyright law. If deemed a work for hire, the hiring company is the owner of the copyright rather than the author. This happens when a work is prepared by an employee within his or her scope of employment or if the work is specially commissioned and a written agreement states that it is a work for hire. Thus, if a machine operator invents something, it’s generally the employee’s and not the company’s. In addition, if you hire a designer but don’t have in writing that it’s a work for hire, ownership remains in the designer even if you paid for it.

Q:  What are “statutory damages?” 
A:  Statutory damages are damages that may be awarded without proof of actual damages. A copyright owner may elect to receive statutory damages rather than actual damages because proving actual damages is often very difficult. The statutory damages that will be awarded are discretionary and will depend upon the willfulness of, and amount of harm caused by, the infringer.