When is copyrighted work protected? 12 Answers as of June 19, 2013

Hello! I am filing a copyright. When is that work protected? When I file with the government website? Or when I hear back from them that it's been registered months later? When would it be safe to show others my work? Thank you!

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Gerald Walsh | Gerald Walsh
Your work is copyrighted the moment you create it and claim it as yours. You would have to be able to prove that you created it and when you created it. You should put on the work "Copyright date name". When you register the copyright then that is evidence that you are the owner.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/19/2013
Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
Your copyright exists - under US Law - as soon as you create your original work. The ability to enforce your copyright against others requires completion of the registration process at the US Copyright Office. Feel free to share your work with others. You should include the "copyright notice" - "Copyright 20XX by Your Name."
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 6/11/2013
Gerald R. Black, Esq.
Gerald R. Black, Esq. | Gerald R. Black
The Berne Convention is the international treaty for copyright protection. The Berne Convention requires its signatories to recognize the copyright of works of authors from other signatory countries (known as members of the *Berne Union*) in the same way it recognizes the copyright of its own nationals, which means that, for instance, French copyright law applies to anything published or performed in France, regardless of where it was originally created. In addition to establishing a system of equal treatment that internationalized copyright amongst signatories, the agreement also required member states to provide strong minimum standards for copyright law. An author from any country that is a signatory of the Berne Convention is awarded the same rights in all other countries that are signatories to the Convention as they allow their own nationals, as well as any rights granted by the Convention. Copyright under the Berne Convention must be automatic. Automatic protection. Under Berne, no formalities are required as preconditions to protection. In other words, member countries cannot require that authors and publishers give notice of the copyrighted status of the work in order for the work to be protected by law (e.g., mandatory use of a ? symbol or required registration of copyrighted works). It is prohibited to require formal registration. Please note, however, that when the U.S. joined the Berne Convention in 1988, it continued to make statutory damagesand attorney's fees only available for works registered with the Copyright Office. I hope that this helps.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/10/2013
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Since 1978 is it protected from the moment of creation forward. Registering it only affords you additional benefits such as enhanced damages and attorney fees in the event that you successfully sue someone.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/11/2013
Tran & Associates | Bao Tran
The work is protected when you file. Additionally, y ou should get patent application as soon as you can to prevent others from copying you. This is important as we move into the First to File era. I would recommend the use of software from PowerPatent.com called ProvisionalBuilder. Software costs $99 so it i very inexpensive yet guides you to prepare a high quality patent application that one year later you can turn to a lawyer to convert into a utility application for you. A feature summary is at http://www.powerpatent.com/prwelcome THe software helps you organize information, and through your summary description, brings back sample patents in the same field for you to use as examples.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/11/2013
    Eminent IP, P.C.
    Eminent IP, P.C. | Paul C. Oestreich
    You have copyright ownership in your original work of authorship the moment it has been completed in any tangible medium. Your copyrights in the work are not contingent upon trademark registration. However, there are many good reasons to obtain trademark registration. The most important benefits from registration are access to attorneys fees, statutory damages and a presumption of validity. While you can sue someone for trademark infringement without first obtaining a trademark registration, you will be in a better legal position if you have the trademark registration first. As always, you should seek the advice of an intellectual property attorney so that he/she can more completely advise you based on the facts of your particular situation and how to best leverage your copyrights.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Loren Lambert
    Loren Lambert | Loren Lambert
    It's protected at the time you create it. It's simply easier to prove after you file for copyright protection and register it with the fed government
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Microtechnology Law & Analysis | Daniel Flamm
    Showing others has nothing to do with obtaining a copyright or registration thereof. Since 1978, a US copyright is perfected by embedding an original creative work in tangible media. However, if the copyright holder wishes to collect damages under federal copyright law (e.g. payment from those who might copy the work), the copyright must first be registered. This brief explanation omits many details and discussion of licensing, sale, work for hire, fair use, and other important aspects. If you believe your copyright will be *valuable*, it would be wise to engage an attorney for particularized advice and strategy for your situation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler
    Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
    A copyright is automatically created when the artistic expression is created. You should include three things of each artistic creation. 1) (c), the "C with a circle around it. 2) The name of the person or company that wants to establish the copyright 3) A date of when the work was created.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Copyright protection begins the moment you place your original expression of an idea in some sort of permanent medium. You do not have to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office at any time to have that protection. However, registering does provide a public record that you own the copyright to the work and it allows you to recover attorney expenses should you win a case of copyright infringement.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Webb IP Law Group
    Webb IP Law Group | Jason P Webb
    Once you have filed your application you are protect, AS LONG AS there are no problems later with registration and as long as you have not made mistakes in the application that might ruin the protection later.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/10/2013
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