For creative people, copyright is a powerful concept. US law gives authors of fixed works with some element of creativity rights over their own creations, be they literary works, works of visual art, etc. This right allows the authors of these works to decide who is allowed to copy their work, and how, amongst other things. Of course, the United States Copyright Office is where the authors of these works can have their work registered as copyrights, but many creatives do not know that their right to this power is automatically created when “fixed in a tangible medium.” Of course, this means mere ideas themselves are not protected.
So why register your copyright if you have rights automatically once the work is created? Well, registration with the Copyright Office can be important because it allows the holder of the copyright registration to enforce their rights and sue others for infringing their copyright.
Just as an author can give rise to their copyright powers by creating the work, the author can also give themselves the power to enforce their rights. This is because copyright registration can be attained by an author applying on their own; this is in contrast to, for example, a trademark application, which must be filed by an attorney.
Why am I explaining all of this? While “I’ll just ask my lawyer” is a common refrain, sometimes clients can be empowered to know their legal rights and advocate for themselves when possible. Though we are always happy to file your copyright registration for you, we can also help you accomplish that goal for yourself— ask about our Copyright Application one-sheet!