Copyright Practice

 

                                  home  about  practice  |  contact  |   notices                          

                                                      

                Patent Attorneys ·  Trademark Attorneys

                               Dallas · Texas · USA

    

This tall-grass prairie, near Blossom Prairie, Texas, called "les belles preries" by early French explorers, once stretched from the Texas Gulf coast to southern Manitoba.  These "endless prairies" and "fruited plains" have inspired the works of novelists and poets from James Fenimore Cooper and Carl Sandburg to Larry McMurtry.  These enduring works are protected by copyright.

 

 

     Copyright Practice

This tall-grass prairie, near Blossom Prairie, Texas, called "les belles preries" by early French explorers, once stretched from the Texas Gulf coast to southern Manitoba.  These "endless prairies" and "fruited plains" have inspired the works of novelists and poets from James Fenimore Cooper and Carl Sandburg to Larry McMurtry.  Their enduring works are protected by copyright.

 

Origins of Copyright

The concept of copyright (the exclusive privilege to copy or reproduce and distribute) is closely linked to the invention of printing in Europe (see Origins of Printing), where in the mid-15th century it became possible for the first time in history to reproduce copies of literary works mechanically rather than by hand. This was done at a cost per unit that placed printed books within reach of the average man.  Publishers (printers and booksellers) invested large sums of money in paper, printing presses and labor to manufacture books. To be profitable, publishers required a reasonable return from a large market over a long period of time.

 

Naturally, without protection against the printing and sale of unauthorized copies, many publishers could not recover and profit on their investment, and were ruined. Some way of protecting these works from profiteers was needed to safeguard the printers and booksellers.

 

At that time, local monarchs granted monopoly privileges (comparable to a franchise) over a particular practice or trade, and following the invention of the printing press, monopoly rights were granted or sold to printers (and occasionally authors) for various literary works.

 

In the U.S., copyright laws were enacted to encourage authors and inventors to publish their works, in recognition of the author as the source of new ideas and creator of the technologies needed by the new nation.  To meet this need, the copyright enablement clause of our constitution (Article 1, section 8, clause 8) provided for the grant of an exclusive privilege to authors and inventors:  the exclusive right to the “writings” of  “authors” and the “discoveries” of “inventors”  for a limited period of years, long enough to recover costs and profit, and for the explicit purpose of promoting advances in the useful arts and sciences.

 

On expiration of the copyright term, the works fall into the public domain and may then be freely copied and distributed by anyone.  In the meantime, the public enjoys the benefit of the ideas, knowledge and information revealed by the published works, thus stimulating advances in the arts and sciences.

 

Today, U.S. copyright laws protect a variety of works - fine arts as well as useful arts.  All works authored in the United States have copyright protection as soon as they are created. Therefore, authors of original works such as computer programs, books, poetry, photographs, music, paintings, jewelry and so forth acquire copyright ownership as soon as those works are expressed in some tangible form.  

 

The circumstancs underlying the creation of the copyright work need to be formalized and registered before the right can be enforced by federal court action.  A copyright registration is a legal formality intended to make a public record of the basic facts.

 

Copyright registration is quite inexpensive and relatively easy to obtain.  We can help you determine what level of protection is right for your company.

 

 

Our practice before the U.S. Copyright Office:

 

•  registration of copyright in the U. S. Copyright Office

•  copyright assignments

•  publishing contracts

•  web site registrations

•  "fair use" and "works made for hire"  ownership issues

•  software development and licensing agreements

  recording registered copyrights with the U.S. Customs Service

 

Contact the lawyers at Griggs Bergen LLP to schedule a confidential consultation.

         

     home  about  practice  |  contact  |   notices

  | Copyright  ©  1997-2006  Griggs Bergen LLP  |   All rights reserved