Whether you’re a musician, writer, artist, or other type of content creator, it’s important that you take the time to learn how to register a copyright. That being said, you do not necessarily need to hire an attorney to secure legal copyrights for your art. Instead, a registered legal document assistant such as A People’s Choice can help you prepare the necessary legal forms and save you hundreds of dollars!
What is a Copyright?
A copyright protects artistic works from unauthorized replication or use. Some of the most commonly copyrighted material includes literature, computer programs, databases, visual art, architecture, advertisements, maps, audiovisual works, and musical compositions. Ultimately, copyrights give artists complete control over how their work is used, distributed, and recreated.
Why Register a Copyright?
Technically speaking, all art is automatically copyrighted the moment you create it! In other words, any time you put words on paper, write a song, create computer software, or draw your latest architectural masterpiece, that piece of content has automatic copyright protections by the United States Copyright Office.
However, after learning about this law, many clients ask us whether it’s actually necessary to register a copyright at all!
First, registering a copyright is a good idea for bigger pieces of art, such as a novel or screenplay, or anything else you deem likely to be stolen or reused by other people. Additionally, should your content be stolen and your copyrights violated, the law requires official copyright registration to bring infringement charges to court. Therefore, official registration increases your chances of receiving legal penalties such as attorneys fees and statutory damages for copyright infringement.
How to Register a Copyright With a Legal Document Assistant
Copyright registration can be a bit tricky, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need an attorney to help you through the process. Instead, working with a registered legal document assistant can ensure you complete the necessary forms completely and accurately, while saving hundreds of dollars!
Additionally, when you work with A People’s Choice, we will assist you with the entire process of filling out the copyright registration application. For example, we are there for you throughout all of the necessary steps to register a copyright, including:
Determining The Type of Work
Believe it or not, the U.S. Copyright Office provides detailed statutes defining different types of content that artists can copyright. For example, 17 U.S.C. § 101 defines literary works as “works, other than audiovisual works, expressed in words, numbers, or other verbal or numerical symbols or indicia, regardless of the nature of the material objects”. However, while a screenwriter or playwright may consider their work literature, the U.S. Copyright Office would actually characterize it as performing arts. Therefore, this work would require a totally different form to register a copyright!
Unfortunately, different types of work require different documentation. As a result, filing the incorrect form for your copyright registration could result in having to re-pay filing fees. By working with a legal document assistant, you can be sure you have properly identified your type of work and avoid paying more than necessary.
Preparing the Required Documents
Once you’ve determined which form you need to use, you still have the daunting task of completing the form accurately and completely. Luckily, A People’s Choice helps you provide all the necessary application information, including but not limited to:
- Limitation of claim; and
- Rights and permissions
Filing the Paperwork
Another benefit of working with a legal document assistant is help with filing your application; from start to finish, we work with you every step of the way.
Why A People’s Choice?
When it comes to registering a copyright, working with A People’s Choice is a no-brainer! First, our services have flat rates, so there are no surprises. Plus, we provide a Quick Start Interview that kickstarts your copyright process by providing us with all the necessary background information up front. Ultimately, we want to make registering your copyright as fast and easy as possible.
A People’s Choice has been in the legal document preparation business for over 40 years. Plus, we have a great reputation in the community. Contact A People’s Choice to learn more about how we can help you complete and file legal documents in a timely manner. Call us today at 800-747-2780 with any questions.
Leave A Comment