June 28, 2015
A patent attorney is qualified to advise clients on a number of issues related to intellectual property. One of these is copyright law. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you already own several copyrights. In fact, you’ve been a copyright owner since you made your first finger painting. That’s because you took an idea and made it tangible.
In America copyrights are automatic. From the moment you scribble your thoughts down on paper, they are protected by copyright. It’s possible for a patent attorney to help you obtain a registration of your work with the U.S. Copyright Office, which offers you additional layers of protection.
It’s because copyrights are automatic that they are also so easy to infringe. Millions of people unwittingly commit copyright infringement every day. Most of these instances won’t result in any serious consequences, but others can have serious ramifications. Have you ever done any of these things?
1. Use a Quote from a Speech
Have you ever found a transcript of an inspirational speech and utilized a quote from it in a brochure or on your website? If so, this may be copyright infringement unless you had permission from the owner.
2. Copy a Photograph Online
Most websites don’t have safeguards that prevent people from copying their images. Once copied, those images can be used in a multitude of ways. Chances are good that most online photographs are copyrighted. It’s risky to copy and use someone else’s images.
3. Post a Video to YouTube
It’s fine to post your own videos online because you own the copyright. If you’ve ever posted someone else’s video without their permission, it’s a different story.
4. Use a Popular Song as a Soundtrack for Your Video
That hot new song might make the perfect soundtrack to your cat video, but think twice before using it. That song is copyrighted, and if you post a video that incorporates that song, it could mean trouble.
5. Translate and Distribute a Literary Work
You’ve found a great new poem by your favorite Spanish-language writer. You figure there’s no harm in translating it into English and posting it on your website, especially since you’ll give credit to the author. Think again before you post. Your translation is a derivative work of the original, and you’d need permission to use it.
6. Make a Copy of a Movie
Your favorite movie is finally out on DVD, and you can’t wait for your best friend to see it. The trouble is that he’s not local and money problems make it difficult for him to see movies. You think burning a copy of the movie on a blank DVD and sending it to him will solve the problem, but if you do that, you’ll be infringing a copyright.
7. Circumventing Software Protection
Whether it’s the latest version of an operating system or a hot new game, all software enjoys the protection of a copyright. If you find a way to circumvent the software’s security in order to obtain a free copy of it, then you are infringing that copyright.
The Law Office of Jeff Williams helps people and businesses protect their intellectual property. This not only includes matters related to patent law, but also to copyright protection. As a patent attorney Jeff Williams is well qualified to help you defend your own copyrights and make certain that you don’t run afoul of someone else’s intellectual property. Copyright law and patent law are both complicated subjects, but the practitioners at the Law Office of Jeff Williams can help you make the right decisions to protect your interests.