If you must pursue copyright registration, you must do so with a Copyright Lawyer Houston. If you are facing copyright infringement accusations, you must also contact a lawyer.

Copyright is a very complicated and often misunderstood legal concept. It sounds like an easy thing to do, but there are several misconceptions that can lead to disputes over copyright infringement which end up costing you more money than they’re worth. 

Most people don’t realize that you don’t need to register your copyright for the photos or videos you use. The moment a creative work comes into existence, the creator automatically becomes the copyright holder under U.S. law. However, they will have less advantages in protecting their copyright if they don’t register it with the Copyright Office. 

Copyright registration

As a copyright holder, you can file to register your copyrighted work in the United States at any time after it is created or published. However, in order for you to have a significant legal advantage, federal offices & agents are more likely to see your ownership as valid when you show a strong intention of ownership to them upfront. They see this clearly when you perform “timely registration.” Timely registration means that you register your copyrighted work within 3 months of publication, or prior to any copyright infringement. This makes it a lot easier for you to present a strong case and win a lawsuit against an infringer.

Responding to cease and desist notices

When a third party suspects copyright infringement, often they will send a cease and desist letter ordering you in writing to stop using their copyrighted material without permission. For the best outcome, cease and desist letters always require responses.

The most immediate option is to respond to this letter indicating that you have stopped using the offending material. If, however, you have doubts that you are purposefully infringing on their rights, or you are certain that you have a license to use the sender’s copyrighted material, or your use is considered “fair use,” this is good cause to contact the lawyer.

Pursuing copyright infringement claims in the courts

A lawyer will help you to navigate the complexities of copyright law and copyright lawsuits well before you are sued or want to sue an infringer. Naturally, when artists and entrepreneurs produce creative works, copyright law is new to them. They are unaware of their rights, and they are unaware of the potential liabilities (both financial and emotional) of plagiarizing someone else’s work. Hire a copyright lawyer too late, and without the proper legal preparation, a copyright infringement lawsuit could go sideways. This is why we recommend contacting an attorney the moment you begin producing and publishing creative works. You will be better prepared to answer and ask any questions necessary, as well as understand what is and what isn’t considered copyright infringement under the law.

Keep in mind that the author of this blog is not licensed to practice law, and nothing here is to be construed as legal advice; it is here only for educational and informational purposes. If you require sound legal advice, contact a copyright lawyer.