US Copyright

This week has been colossal for copyright changes in the UK, but what of the U.S.?

Did You Know:

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on March 4, 2019, states that a copyright owner must have their work registered by the United States Copyright Office prior to filing litigation to enforce its rights. Not as monumental as Article 13, the “meme ban”, but nevertheless, imperative to protecting “original work of authorship.”

In the ruling of Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, the Supreme Court resolved a split among courts around the country, and underscored the importance of early filing with the copyright office. While copyright is knowingly associated with music, paintings, photography, and film; the protection extends to presentations, articles, advertising, computer software, and almost any form of expression.

This decision joins several other incentives that encourage for prompt filing of copyright applications. In addition, the copyright law allows for “statutory damages” of up to $150,000 per work infringed upon; also providing the possibility of attorney fees being awarded to the prevailing party.

These remedies are only available when the owner applies for registration either before the infringement beings, or within 90 days of the first publication of the work. Therefore, for any important work of authorship, early registration is necessary for proper distribution of said work. Any signed art is considered protected by copyright.

However, it should be noted that the normal approval of an application can take seven months to more than a year… so one should be vigilant to file an application early to be ready if infringement does occur.

Check out our last blog on the EU’s Copyright Directive

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