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Why should I be concerned with copyrighting my works?

As part of your business, you might have creative works. It is vital for you to make sure that these works have the legal protections necessary so that other companies and individuals can't steal what is yours.

One option that you have to keep things protected is to copyright your works. This gives you the legal basis to take action if you find out that your works are being used outside of your wishes.

What is a copyright?

Copyright is a legal basis that owners of specific works have to decide what they going to do with them and how they wish them to be used. United States copyright laws cover certain types of materials. However, the copyright does expire. The expiration term isn't the same for all copyrights, so make sure that you find this out if you have a question about how it might impact your works.

Who holds a copyright?

The person who creates the work is the copyright holder unless that person gives one's rights up to another person. It is also possible to release works into the public domain, which means that other people can use them for their own good. It is possible to issue a Creative Commons license for your works, which would give you some control over what other people can do with your creative genius.

What kinds of items can be copyrighted?

To be able to be copyrighted, work has to be in the physical form. This can be music written down, writing saved on a jump drive, drawing on paper, recorded sounds, videoed choreography and a host of other works. It is important that they have a physical form so that they do qualify as copyrighted. Things that haven't been placed in this way can't be copyrighted. This means that if you come up with an awesome song and tell someone, that person can steal your idea as long as you didn't have it on paper, video or other forms of documentation.

Can I do anything if someone steals my copyrighted works?

Yes, you can take legal action over this issue. You can even seek compensation for the monetary damages that you suffered because of the copyright theft. Some conditions must be present if you are going to pursue legal action, so make sure you find out about this. In some cases, you might opt to issue a cease and desist order to the person instead of taking other action.

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