Copyright Law

Experienced Copyright Registration Attorneys Located in the New York Metro Area

When truly original material is created by an individual or company, ownership vests immediately under common law. However, there are additional measures that can be sought in order to provide you with protections aimed at preventing others from illegally using your innovative work. A copyright registration is one of the types of federal registrations that gives such protection for your creation and allows access to federal courts and federal damages against an infringer.

At the Law Offices of Joseph C. Messina, our attorneys have extensive experience handling a wide variety of intellectual property matters, including copyrights and trademarks. We are dedicated to helping businesses or individuals from the very beginning of the creation of the material that will eventually require a copyright. Contact our firm today to learn more about the copyright and intellectual property services that we offer.

What is a Copyright?

A copyright is used for original work in areas of intellectual property, literature, music and artistry. The moment you create a work and it takes a tangible form, a copyright is afforded to the author. An author can be the party who created the work, the employer whose employee created the work within the scope of his employment, or the party who under a work for hire agreement, had an independent contractor create the work. The author has the exclusive right to reproduce the work, to distribute the work or copies, to create works based on the original work, and to display or perform the work. Authors will maintain the copyright for a limited number of years.

Copyright infringement will be found if it can be shown that one of the litigants is the legal owner of the copyrighted work or material and if it can be proven that the work or material was copied. One exception to copyright infringement is fair use. This exception limits the owner’s rights in areas where public policy dictates that there are important benefits to be gained from allowing a third party use of the copyrighted work or material. The courts recognize this exception and Congress has included it in the Copyright Act of 1976. One may use copyrighted material under the exception of the doctrine of fair use if it is for the purpose of reporting, news, comment, criticism, teaching, research, or scholarship.

The courts will consider the nature of the work, the amount of the segment used, whether the use of the copyrighted material is for one's personal use to gain knowledge in a particular subject matter or whether the use is turning a commercial profit. There have been some interesting and famous cases in the area of fair use. In the case of Books Inc. v. Kinko's Graphics Corp., 758 F.Supp 1522, 18 U.S.P.Q.2d 1437 (S.D.N.Y. 1991), the N.Y. Federal Court held that the defendant Kinko's was liable of copyright infringement. Kinko's had copied certain material from various text books and then sold the material to college students for a profit. The plaintiffs in this case were publishing houses from New York City and the court sided with the plaintiffs and awarded injunctive relief and statutory damages.

The Copyright Registration Process

The federal copyright registration process requires strict adherence to the stated procedures. If not completed correctly, the copyright registration process can be a waste of time and money, leaving you with a rejected copyright. Our firm can guide you through the copyright registration process, taking the time to ensure that each step is properly completed. Our assistance may increase your chances of obtaining a copyright.

Contact the Law Offices of Joseph C. Messina

You have an ally in the pursuit of a copyright. We assist clients located in Westchester County, Stamford, or the surrounding communities in New York and Connecticut. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 914-381-2728 to set up a free consultation with one of our New York copyright registration attorneys.