What is a copyright?
It is a federal law which protects anyone who creates an original work (s) from anyone copying, redistribution, or using it without permission from the originator.
Who owns a copyright?
- If you created it you own it.
- If you created it for someone else they own it.
- If someone makes it for you (subcontractor) you own it.
- If you are working for someone and you create something original your employer owns it.
How do I file a copyright?
- Filing a copyright is quite easy. Go to the website loc.gov.copyright
- A copyright registration costs $30.00
How long does a copyright last?
- A copyright lasts 70 years after the death of the author.
- If you are the owner of a copyright and find someone infringing on your rights you might want to seek legal help.
- First determine how were you damaged and have you suffered enough before engaging an attorney. A good attorney can charge up to $25,000.00 to represent you.
- The easiest way is to first send a cease and desist letter to state your position.
Better Safe than sorry
- If someone asks you to reproduce and art be sure he or she has permission to get it replicated. All sports teams issue a license to reproduce their logos. You should ask for a copy of the license to protect your potential liability.
Some interesting trademark violations.
A embroidery company in Chicago was embroidery New Era caps with the White Sox logo. This was 100% illegal because New Era had the license but they did not grant it to the violator. The result was losing their embroider machines and a fine because they were essentially counterfeiting product.
I received a cease and desist letter for a design we were making and selling. The design was a simple wine design which read “Whip Me Crush Me Make Me Wine. I brushed the letter off and later received a more serious one. I went to a trademark attorney and he said he could defend me for $10,000.00. It was easier to stop, apologize, and pay the company $1,200.00 for a trademark violation.
CEO Northwest Custom Apparel