Copyright Law

Posted by on Aug 9, 2014 in Copyrights | 2 comments

Original ideas give birth to new and handy devices, products, services, and sources of fun, inspiration and entertainment. Due to the tremendous benefits nations and peoples enjoy from these innovative accomplishments, creative thinkers are more encouraged to continue in their conception and creation of anything, whether in the form of science or art, which will always prove useful and helpful to countless generations. As a form of gratitude and in recognition of their valuable work, governments give protection on the original works of individuals.

The US government, specifically, through the intellectual property laws, such as the Copyright Act, Trademark law, Trade Secret law, and Patent law, ensure thinkers of their exclusive right over their work, while simultaneously protecting their works from imitators. These laws protect any form of new inventions, symbols, designs, new products, newly formed words, discoveries, business logo, a product’s formula, music, paintings, literary pieces, and any other type of original concept or design.

The copyright law, for instance, is meant to protect both published and unpublished original artistic works, such as books, photographs, sculptures, paintings, music, motion pictures, architectural designs, and computer programs. It is also intended to promote the Science and the Arts, while allowing economic incentives to authors at the same time.

A copyright lasts with the author’s life plus 70 more years after the author’s death (original works created before 1978 had been given copyright protection for 75 years). During such time, this statutory property right gives authors the right to:

  • Publicly distribute their copyrighted work for profit, while prohibiting others from enjoying the same
  • Reproduce their copyrighted work
  • Display their work in public
  • Use their copyrighted work in producing derivative works, such as a movie

The other laws and what these protect are as follows:

  • Trademark (also called brand name or service mark) is protection given to an original name, slogans or logo that directly identifies the source or producer of goods and/or services. Trademarks help consumers distinguish a particular brand from other suppliers of goods and services.
  • Patent law, which prohibits the exact copying of any original material invention, also gives inventors the legal right to exclude anyone from copying and/or selling any of their original work/s, as well the privilege to temporarily or permanently transfer to another, through renting, selling, mortgage, or inheritance, the right over their work/s. A patent lasts for 20 years, starting on the day when the application for the patent was filed. As it expires or becomes invalid, however, so does the prohibition from using or copying it.
  • Trade secrets, which can be any form of information, like a program, formula, process, method, technique, or device, that gets economic value, (in the present or in the future) from not being illegally disclosed to, or used, by another.

Any form of violation of any of the intellectual property laws merits the attention of a highly capable lawyer, like a Dallas copyright lawyer, to bring the violator to justice and compensate the damages (where such exist) of the work’s author.

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