There’s nothing quite like being a creator with a finished project. For those who work in the arts or another creative field, a tangible piece can bring a sense of accomplishment to an artist. However, one thing that creatives have to fear is intellectual property theft — that is, the threat of someone copying or outright stealing a unique work. Sometimes, too, others want to use all or part of a work, but they don’t bother to find out how to get copyright permission and steal it anyway.
First, what is copyright? Copyright grants a creator exclusive rights to his or her original works with regard to use and distribution. Examples of copyrighted formats include works of art (paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, etc.), novels, short stories, poems, screenplays, songs, computer software, and architecture. Essentially, copyright is summed up as a protection of original works of authorship. Although this may only last for a limited time, this helps a creator receive compensation for his or her work. In the U.S., copyright is granted from the moment the work is in a fixed, tangible form.
This type of protection means that a person who has created an original work doesn’t actually have to register it with the United States Copyright Office since it is already technically copyrighted. However, many people consider this practice to be a good idea, and they may even meet with an intellectual property rights lawyer to seek ways to protect intellectual property.
This is important for both unknown and well-known creators. Unknown creators are especially vulnerable if their works are stolen by larger enterprises. Additionally, more well-known creators may have more people looking to infringe on their work; for instance, a songwriter may have his or her music sampled or lyrics reused in the songs of others without permission. This can also be an important step in fighting piracy: up to 25% of internet traffic today is estimated to result from the consumption in infringed content, and about one-third of music and software CDs for sale are thought to be counterfeit.
For those who wonder how to get copyright permission, there are a number of ways to do so, and they all depend upon the medium of the work in question. Sometimes the artist can be asked directly. In terms of how to get copyright permission in order to use an item for educational use, some works grant access according to fair use doctrines. However, it still may be best to consult an expert before proceeding.
In order to protect oneself from copyright infringement, it’s crucial to file with the United States Copyright Office or an authority in another country. Doing so can make fighting an infringement case easier if the need arises. Copyright can be filed by mail or electronically. Both, however, can take several months to over a year to complete the filing. Those with other questions about copyright can seek information from the U.S. Copyright or an intellectual property lawyer or leave a comment below. More like this.