Copyright is one of the major subject areas within the intellectual property (IP) industry. Generally, the scope of a copyright extends to the registration of intellectual property that is creative, artistic, or which is considered intellectual ‘works’. There are many reasons why owners of creative or artistic property should seek a copyright. When filing for a copyright, it is advised that you obtain the services of a professional consultancy firm to assist you with the registration application process.
Why obtain a copyright
The scope of copyright artistic works is broad in range and can include, inter alia; literary works, movies, dances, audio recordings, sculptures and software. Through registering your intellectual property with the appropriate IP office, you can effectively protect your property from unauthorized use, infringement and other cases of passing off.
The advantages of copyright registration are numerous, however the main reason why owners of artistic, creative and intellectual works seek copyright recognition is to obtain legal protection and rights over the use of the property.
Some of the most prominent benefits of copyright registration are listed below.
- When obtaining a copyright, it is published as a public record, thus deterring third parties from unauthorized use of your property
- In order to right cases of infringement, your IP must be registered as a copyright
- It can establish prima facie evidence in court
- Registering your IP provides deterrence of plagiarism, but where infringement does occur, it provides the owner with legal power and ammunition against the infringement
- Without official registration, where a third party copies your work, the onus is on you to prove the work was originally yours
- Registration of a copyright gives the owner control over who can use the work, enabling financial benefits where the copyright is leased out or sold
The number of advantages for obtaining a copyright far outweighs the financial risks and other negative effects that could occur should you decide not to register your intellectual property. In cases of copyright infringement, provided your property is registered, the onus will always be on the infringing party to prove that they acted in good faith. However, should your artistic work not have a copyright status, then the burden lies with the owner to prove the intellectual property at stake was originally theirs, and this can be a particularly difficult thing to prove with many financial implications.
Overall, it is best to seek the professional services of an intellectual property attorney or professional consultancy firm that are experienced in registering copyrights. The process for registration can be complex and will typically vary between intellectual property offices around the world.
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