Basics of copyrights

Glenn W. Peterson

Many companies in California look for ways to protect their intellectual property. This may entail patents, trademarks, service marks or copyrights. Each type of protection is for something different and copyrights themselves are used for creative works. Understanding what a copyright is and is not or does and cannot do is important for anyone who creates the types of work that may be protected by copyrights.

As explained by Forbes, a copyright grants the owner the ability to reproduce, display, perform or distribute either physically, in person or digitally the original work. They may also create similar but new variations on the work. In some situations, the person or entity who holds a copyright is not the person who actually literally created it as a company may end up receiving the protection.

A copyright established after 1978 has a lifespan of 70 years after the death of the owner. Anyone who believes that their copyright has been infringed upon may find seeking damages more possible if they had registered the copyright. That said, it is not required for a copyright to be registered in order for it to exist and be recognized. Similarly, the copyright does not need to be noted on a given work. Copyrights are not available for items said t be in the public domain.

If you would like to learn more about copyright protections and what is available to you for your original works, please feel free to visit the creative work protections page of our California copyright and intellectual property website.