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copyright law Archives

Second copyright lawsuit against same song loses

California residents who are engaged in artistic endeavors know the importance of protecting their intellectual properties. Copyrights are a primary mode of doing just this for people who write books, produce movies, create paintings or write and produce music. The protections these copyrights grant, however, may not always be as clear as one might think. When it comes to the world of musical lyrics, for example, there is some latitude for similarity.

What is a copyright?

If you are a California artist, author, composer, photographer, architect, software developer, etc., you should protect your rights to your original works by means of a registered copyright. The United States Copyright Office notes that things such as paintings, books, songs, photographs, architectural drawings and software programs are forms of intellectual property that belong to you because you created them.

4 ways to avoid a lawsuit over pictures in your blog

For many years, blogging has been a way for people to share their views, tell news stories and be heard by countless others. Some bloggers have found great success with their blogs. Writing in your blog may be a hobby for you, or you might have a respectable following and are making a living at it. One thing that connects you and other bloggers in California and elsewhere is the media you include in your posts to make them interesting. However, at Millstone, Peterson & Watts, LLP, we understand that your blog could land in legal hot water if you include copyrighted content without permission.

Is my tweet protected by copyright?

Californians have seen it happen over and over. Someone tweets something on Twitter and suddenly it goes viral and everyone has seen it. You may have even seen instances where the same tweet is attributed to two different people. This may bring up the question of whether tweets are protected by copyright. If a tweet is a creative, published piece, it seems to fall under copyright protection. However, as it tends to go, things are not always that simple. 

How long does copyright protection last?

If you are seeking copyright protection in California, one of your concerns may be how long that protection will last. This is a good question since other intellectual property protections generally have a specific number of years they are valid, which often are not going to last your lifetime. However, copyright protection terms work a bit differently, according to the U.S. Copyright Office.

How to find if an image is copyrighted?

The internet is a wonderful place to find images for California business owners. There is an image to suit pretty much any need. All you need to do is a quick search to get an array of them at your fingertips. However, you need to be cautious about using images you find online. The majority of them are likely protected by copyright. It is your responsibility to ensure any that you use are not copyrighted.

Are copyright infringement and plagiarism the same thing?

If you are a writer in California, then you may have heard of both copyright and plagiarism. While these two things may seem very similar, they are not, in fact, the same thing. According to Plagiarism Today, plagiarism is a violation of ethics whereas copyright infringement is breaking the law. The distinction between ethics and the law is a huge one. Breaking ethics simply ruins your credibility and reputation, but breaking the law can carry stiff penalties.

Do I have to register my copyright?

You probably are aware of what a copyright is and how it can protect your creative works. However, many people in California do not understand the details of the protection and how it is acquired. According to the Unites States Copyright Office, you gain copyrights as soon as your work is in “fixed form,” which means it has been written down, recorded or otherwise put into a tangible form. You do not have to do anything to secure these rights, including registering your copyright.

Performance arts and copyrights

If a person has something that he or she wants to register the copyright for in California, then it is important that he or she chooses the correct category to file under. Performance arts, as defined by the U.S. Copyright Office, is one option that a person has if the piece is something intended to be performed for an audience. There is a range of different pieces that could fall under this category, including dances, podcasts, screenplays, dramatic readings, sound effects, audiobooks and comedy routines.

Copyright, fair use and YouTube

When it comes to California residents sharing information on the internet, there are always going to be concerns about copyrights. This is especially true when it comes to YouTube. This video sharing platform is wildly popular because it allows users to connect with millions of viewers. However, when a user creates a video that contains someone else’s content, there could be an issue with copyright.

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