How Do You Get a Copyright?

copyright registrationWhen you create an original work in a tangible physical form (even briefly), the copyright arises.

For example, when you write an original creative blog post and publish it online, you can assert copyright ownership of it. You can even use the copyright symbol © or the word “Copyright” to note the post is your intellectual property.

Note that creativity is an essential element. For instance, an ascending list of the numbers 1 to 10 would probably lack sufficient creativity for copyright protection. However, an original children’s song teaching the same ten numbers in order would be creative. Similarly, an original painting incorporating the numbers could be considered creative.

What Is Copyright Registration?

When you register your copyrighted work with the U.S. Copyright Office, you get additional legal protections under federal law. This includes many legal tools to make it easier to protect your intellectual property and collect damages if someone misuses your work. Although some creators register their own works, many rely upon qualified copyright attorneys to do these federal registrations correctly.

How Many Years Does A Copyright Protect Your Work?

Copyright terms vary considerably based upon a variety of factors (e.g. when published) that your copyright lawyer can explain to you when analyzing what you’ve created. As a general rule, new original works are protected in the U.S. for 70 years after the creator has passed away. On the other hand, if work was made for hire, the copyright will probably be for the lesser of 95 years from the date first published or 120 years from the date created.