The 40 millionth US copyright registration was completed on July 8, 2022! This historic 40 millionth US copyright registration milestone coincided with the 152nd birthday of the US Copyright Office. That doesn’t mean that ONLY 40 million works are under copyright protection in the United States. That means that 40 million works have been properly […]
CASE Act of 2020
The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2020 is the latest federal law regarding copyright law. This act created a Copyright Claims Board (CCB) that offers a low cost alternative to federal court for bringing suit for alleged copyright infringement. The CCB began accepting cases in June 2022. A number of cases are pending as […]
What writers need to know about copyr...
DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney. This article does not offer legal advice. It offers some practical insights from someone who assists writers in identifying and resolving copyright issues. US copyright law is complex and often confusing. This article highlights some of the basics of US copyright law that every writer should understand, preferably BEFORE […]
Public Domain Bonanza
January 1, 2019 marks a significant date in US copyright law. On this “Public Domain Day 2019” thousands of works from 1923 previously protected under US copyright laws became public domain. Duke Law’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain reviews “Public Domain Day 2019” and has similar archives going back to 2010. You may […]
New Circulars from Copyright Office
In September 2017 the US Copyright Office began releasing a new series of copyright circulars that provide simple explanations of US copyright law on specific topics. These circulars are divided into seven categories: Foundations of Copyright (10 Circulars, including two in Spanish) Office Practices and Procedures (17 Circulars, including one in Spanish) Copyright Concepts (10 […]
Songwriters sue the DOJ
Songwriters sue the DOJ A new ruling by the Department of Justice (DOJ) will affect the process involved with clearing rights for copyrighted song lyrics. In response, the recently created (2015) Songwriters of North America (SONA) that represents songwriters sue the DOJ for depriving their members of their property without due process of law. This organization has among its members […]
Format Matters with Permissions Reque...
Copyright—How Format Matters Format rules your permission requests, not your ownership protection. You own your content in any tangible form. Finished your work? You may want to federally register it in order to give yourself the benefit of being able to sue in federal court. You may think that since your work is in several formats […]
Timely copyright registration is esse...
Timely Copyright Registration is Essential Timely copyright registration is essential. All of us, whether authors, bloggers, or companies with a web presence, can let an important step in publishing fall through the cracks. No one may be aware of a problem until they are slammed into the brick wall of infringement-without-an-expedient–means-to-address-it. Often companies and bloggers with […]
Wikipedia a springboard, not a crutch
We often encounter client work that, in our eyes, relies too heavily on Wikipedia. Some “borrowers” copy Wikipedia content into their work without understanding the responsibilities and the consequences of such heavy borrowing. Authors, bloggers, and contributors to articles, books, and blogs are responsible for the intellectual property in their work. It is important to be aware of […]