“Original Works of Authorship”

Copyright law protects “original works of authorship.”  The Copyright Act lists eight categories of copyrightable works: (1) literary works; (2) musical works, including any accompanying words; (3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music; (4) pantomimes and choreographic works; (5) pictorial, graphic and sculptural works; (6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works; (7) sound recordings; and (8) architectural works.  17 U.S.C. § 102.

Within these eight statutory categories of copyrightable subject matter, some specific examples of copyrightable works that you as an author can register include photographs, architectural drawings, videos, webpages, artwork, logos, computer programs, songs, lyrics, poems, house plans, advertisements, brochures, pamphlets, engineering drawings, paintings, books, articles, jewelry, instruction manuals and user manuals.

Include a Copyright Notice on your Works

It is advisable to include a copyright notice on your work, which includes three parts: (1) the word “Copyright,” the abbreviation “Copr.” or the copyright symbol ©; (2) the name of the author; and (3) the year of first publication.  An example copyright notice might be “Copyright © Lady Gaga 2019.”

Register Your Copyrights with the U. S. Copyright Office

You should register your copyrights within three months of first publishing your work, and preferably before anyone has a chance to copy your work.  Contact us for a no charge consultation and we will explain how to get started on the process of protecting your copyrights.

Copyright Infringement Litigation

Dale has extensive experience litigating claims for copyright infringement in federal courts across the country.  He is presently representing a photography company in a collection of consolidated lawsuits in federal court in Maryland against numerous radio and television stations, which include claims for infringement of numerous copyrighted photographs of a rare breed of cat, and related Digital Millinneum Copyright Act (DMCA) claims for falsification of copyright management information (CMI).