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This article is written by Ishita Pal, a 2nd-year BBA-LLB student of JIS University, Kolkata. This article provides a piece of detailed information about how to register for copyright in the USA. She has provided one PPT for a quick look regarding the process of registration, The article is edited by Khushi Sharma (Trainee Associate, Blog iPleaders).

Introduction

The Copyright Act of 1957 (often referred to as the “Act”) became effective on January 1, 1958. During that period, the Act was changed five times: in 1983 and 1984, 1992 and 1994, 1999 and 2012, and in 2013. The Copyright (Amendment) Act of 2012 is by far the most important of these amendments. The amendment to the 1957 Copyright Act was necessitated by several factors, including the need to bring the Act into compliance with two 1996 internet treaties—the WCT and WPPT—as well as the need to address concerns raised by the music and film industries, protect the interests of disabled people, and preserve the author’s copyright interests.

Among the changes made to the Copyright Act in 2012 were the addition of penalties for circumventing technological protection measures (TPM) and rights management information (RMI), as well as liability for internet service providers (ISPs) and the implementation of statutory licensing agreements for cover versions of works and broadcasting organizations.

What is “copyright”? 

I’m afraid I’m talking about the original, not the right-hand duplicate of the original. When you protect your intellectual property with copyright, you can be confident that no one else will be allowed to use or replicate it without your permission. Intellectual property belonging to a person is safeguarded in line with the laws governing intellectual property ownership and protection of intellectual property rights. Suppose you want to put it another way. In that case, a copyright is a legal right to duplicate any work without first obtaining formal permission from the original creator to say it another way. Only those persons have been granted the right to reproduce their job due to the original authors of the items allowing them the permission to do so. 

Creators of creative works are generally granted the exclusive right to use and reproduce the content they have developed in their business for a certain period after they have completed the original work, according to the terms of copyright law. 

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the owner of a copyrighted work maintains the exclusive right to use the work for any purpose without the prior approval of the original author until the position is infringed upon. Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, The ownership of an original piece of work is passed to the owner of the physical medium in question without additional notice once that piece of work is permanently fixed in that medium. 

Copyright may be used to protect a wide range of works, including but not limited to

  • Television programs, movies, and web videos are all examples of audiovisual works. 
  • Sound recordings and musical compositions are two types of works.
  • Lectures, essays, novels, and musical compositions are examples of written works. 
  • Paintings, posters, and ads are all examples of artistic creations.
  • Computer software and video games are examples of software.
  • Theatrical works such as plays and musicals are instances of this.

What will be the rights given by copyright?

First Amendment copyright rights are separated into two categories: those protected by the Constitution and those protected by legislation. 

Authors have both the economic right to profit economically from the use of their work by others, as well as the moral right to preserve the author’s non-monetary interests in their work, as outlined in the United Nations Convention on Intellectual Property.

A work’s creator has the economic right to accept or reject specific uses of their work and the right to be paid for such usage under the great majority of copyright laws in the world today (such as through collective management). The following are examples of steps that the owner of the economic rights to work may take to prohibit or authorize the use of their work:

  • Take the following instances into consideration: a print magazine or an audio recording. 
  • Its use in a theatrical or musical context.
  • The same may be said about books, just as it is for CDs and DVDs. 
  • A radio or television broadcast or a satellite transmission is defined as 
  • Other languages, as well as translations, are also accessible on the website for your convenience. 
  • Consider, for example, how it evolved into a screenplay for a movie script. 
  • A moral right to assert ownership overwork and the right to object to alterations to a work that might jeopardize the author’s reputation are both instances of rights that exist.

Why should I copyright of my work internationally? 

Artists and creatives are not the only ones who may benefit from the registration of intellectual property rights. Also worth considering is copyright registration for mission-critical software, corporate websites, and other marketing/advertising assets such as images or graphics.

It is suggested that you register your intellectual property if your firm is reliant on it. Given your enhanced legal standing, the amount of compensation you could recover in a copyright infringement claim would be more enormous.

If you want to develop your company worldwide, you must protect your intellectual property rights. Several international agreements governing intellectual property, including the Berne Convention and the Copyright Treaty of the World Intellectual Property Organization, have been approved by the United States of America, including the Berne Convention and the Copyright Treaty of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Any work protected by copyright law in the United States is automatically eligible for copyright protection in other countries as soon as it is published. Statutory damages and attorney and court expenses are only available for copyrights that have been registered. However, registration is not needed to get compensation.

Even if copyright registration is not required, it is possible to get legal protection for your work. If you make it more difficult for others to access your password-protected data, it will be easier to discover it in the future. If you can prevent the need to file a lawsuit in the first place, you may be able to save both time and money in the long run. If you ever find yourself in the position of having to file a lawsuit against someone for intellectual property infringement, you’ll need it.

Why is copyright registration important in global businesses, specifically USA?

Even though copyright registration is not necessary for legal protection, it may provide several advantages in certain situations. The following are some of the more noteworthy examples:

  • Everyone is on their toes at all times. When a copyright is registered, it is entered into the United States Copyright Office’s searchable database, which anyone may access. Because it is a matter of public record, it is possible to discover and identify a copyrighted work with relative ease.
  • Infringers may be subjected to legal action if they violate the law. Unless your copyright is registered, you will be unable to initiate a case against someone who has infringed on it.
  • Copyright protection is a legal necessity in most jurisdictions. In the event of a lawsuit alleging violation of your intellectual property rights, the registration certificate will serve as physical proof of the validity of your rights.
  • You are entitled to compensation, according to the law. Unless you have a copyright registration, the only money you will be able to collect is the amount of money you lost, which is difficult to prove. As a consequence of their activities, copyright holders who register their rights are entitled to statutory damages in addition to the legal fees they have incurred. If you win your claim, you might get compensation ranging in value from $750 to $30,000. An anyone convicted of a willful offense faces a maximum punishment of $150,000 in fines and imprisonment.
  • To register the copyright of work in the United States, an application form, a fee, and copies of the work to be written must be submitted along with it. You have the option of submitting your application on paper or the internet. Using the internet to submit your documents could allow you to save both money and time.

How to register a copyright in the USA?

In the United States, there is no need for copyright registration since an author is entitled to copyright protection from the time they create a tangible embodiment of their work. It is necessary for copyright owners to first register with the United States Copyright Office before taking legal action against someone they believe has infringed on their intellectual property rights. Successful legal action on behalf of the author may result in the author being entitled to receive statutory damages as well as attorney’s fees as compensation for intellectual property rights that have been infringed upon by the defendant.

Three components must be present to apply for copyright protection.

  • The first step is to apply for employment online using a job search website.
  • There will also be a price associated with this service.
  • Third, the work must be sent to the Copyright Office, whether physical or digital, to be protected.

To see how to register a copyright, please check this PPT –

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/16gyDwNIVPAKqk2ud633CHIWR7ASQ4kMYgnmAyiOsrNo/edit?usp=sharing

What if i don’t copyright my work?

The creation of an artwork is viewed as the transfer of ownership of the copyright associated with that artwork from the owner of the copyright to the person who created the artwork. As a result of registering your device, you get access to several important safety features that you would not have otherwise had access to if your device had not been reported in the first place.

A copyright infringement will result in legal penalties for the person who committed the violation if the violation is discovered.

It is necessary to register with the court system to file a legal action against another individual. 

You will only be entitled to claim “actual damages” in your case if you are successful in your legal action against the other party since the infringing activity took place before you registered your trademark with the federal government. Could you please inform me of the amount of money that has been lost as a result of this tragedy? I appreciate you taking the time to help me. Your support has been much appreciated. 

Most of the time, the cost of your legal counsel will surpass any monetary compensation you may get as a result of your legal action in the vast majority of instances.

When will the copyright infringement happen?

If someone copies and passes off another person’s copyrighted work as their own, this is referred to as a copyright infringement event.

Some recent cases related to copyright infringement in the world

  1. According to research released in May of this year, the CASE Act (Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement) is a good option for small claims enforcement. Small Claims Court for Copyright Violations: Copyright claims are now limited to a maximum of $15,000 per work and $30,000 in total damages under the new Act.

This legislation was brought back to life in the last weeks of 2020 as part of an omnibus budget deal that provided relief for COVID-19 after seeming to remain dormant for many years. In early January, President Donald Trump signed into law a measure passed unanimously by both houses of the United States Congress the previous year.

After the passage of this Act, its provisions will take effect in 2021. The implementation and impact of the regulation will be constantly examined throughout the year, and it is hard to predict whether the first small claims litigation case will be filed in 2021 or not.

As a supplement to the Protect Lawful Streaming Act (PLSA), which was included in the funding package approved by the House of Representatives, the legislation now declares high-level commercial streaming to be a crime. Because of the high threshold for criminal copyright infringement and the minimal frequency with which the criminal copyright infringement code has been used, it is unlikely that this law will significantly influence the industry.

The first PLSA convictions may be obtained when unlawful streaming providers are prosecuted criminally, which is a distinct possibility.

  1. According to the court’s website, the Oracle v. Google lawsuit, which started in August 2010 and has already lasted more than a decade, will be heard by the Supreme Court for the second time in October 2020.

On the subject of Google’s Android mobile operating system, some questions have been raised regarding how it makes use of the Java programming language. Nevertheless, Oracle, the firm that owns and licenses Java, said that Google replicated its APIs to ensure that existing Java programs would run on Android devices. In its own words, Google claims to have completely rewritten the language from scratch.

APIs have previously been assessed for their potential to be used without permission. Oracle won an appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which decided that application programming interfaces (APIs) may be protected by copyright. The Supreme Court turned down a request to look at the matter. It raises the issue of fair use, which the court did not address in this instance.

Regarding fair use, the Appeals Court agreed with Oracle and decided in their favor once again, this time on appeal. The Supreme Court will hear the case in October 2020, according to the court’s schedule. We’re looking forward to hearing from you shortly. 

This one is especially notable for two reasons. First, it is the first time that the author has used the term “inspirational.” To begin, a judgment by the Supreme Court on application programming interfaces (APIs) will have a significant impact on the software development process. Second, any ruling by the Supreme Court on fair use has the potential to substantially change the landscape of intellectual property law in the United States. It will probably be the most crucial copyright Storey of the year when it is made public.

  1. Despite a lengthy delay of more than two years, the European Commission has announced that the EU’s controversial copyright law would be wholly implemented in March 2019.

It is still being worked out exactly how the requirements will be implemented, even though the standards have been adopted into national legislation in a large number of EU member states, with France taking the lead. As a result, several problematic areas of the relevant legislation have been found, and the European Union Commission is working to amend a number of them as a result. 

This year’s argument about a new right for headlines, thumbnails, and snippets, known as the “link tax,” has raged throughout the months of 2018 and 2019. It is expected to go into effect in the first half of 2019. A combination of two things may be responsible for this. During the years 2018 and 2019, the EU Copyright Directive was a contentious piece of legislation, and it continues to be so today. 

After the law is fully implemented on March 7, it is difficult to predict the number of parts of the Act that will be enacted. There should be a close watch on the global repercussions of the European Union’s new legislation, which is expected to become law later this year.

Conclusion

Especially in today’s society, when humans are pitted against one another, copyright is critical. Why shouldn’t we take advantage of the chance to copyright our work if the opportunity presents itself? Anyone who wants to use or claim ownership of your work does so with your permission; why would anyone want to do so without your consent, or why would anyone claim ownership of it if they did not create it? The evidence in no way supports it. It is possible to utilize a tool called “Justify Alignment” to distribute each line and word in this writing to guarantee that they have a faultless structure, exactly as I am doing, ensuring that they have a faultless design. Similarly, human beings should be treated equally and protected from the potentially destructive intents of other people’s ideas; everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.  

References

  • Oliar, Dotan, Nathaniel Pattison, and K. Ross Powell. “Copyright Registrations: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.” Tex. L. Rev. 92 (2013): 2211.
  • Ringer, Barbara. “First Thoughts on the Copyright Act of 1976.” NYL Sch. L. Rev. 22 (1976): 477.
  • Latman, Alan. “Copyright Law.” Ann. Surv. Am. L. (1980): 433.
  • Pallante, Maria A. “The next great copyright act.” Colum. JL & Arts 36 (2012): 315.
  • Peters, Marybeth. “Copyright Enters the Public Domain.” J. Copyright Soc’y USA 51 (2003): 701.

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