As leaders in Maryland intellectual property law, we represent a wide variety of professionals, including nationally-renowned authors and photographers. We work diligently to protect individuals’ and corporations’ intellectual and aesthetic creations and have over fifty years combined experience in doing so. To inquire about our copyright services or copyright litigation, please call (410) 752-9300 or (410) 752-1261.
A copyright secures intangible property rights for individuals and businesses and aids in the protection of artistic and creative efforts. (What rights do they have- right to sell, license, reproduce). Copyright law protects a work if it is original and expressed in a tangible medium. Most often, the tangible medium is a piece of paper or computer word processing program but also includes other forms of expression such as choreography and sound recordings. Traditionally, the expression of ideas, rather than the ideas themselves, are protected (*see side note below). The copyrighted work need not be novel or useful, only original.
The following list includes examples of tangible works that are commonly granted copyright protection:
Musical works, including musical arrangements and lyrics
Sound recordings, including podcasts
Dramatic works, such as plays or musicals
Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works (works of art)
Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
Choreographic works, including pantomime
Websites and any original content they contain, including text, audio files, graphics, and videos
Architectural and Industrial Design
If the work qualifies for copyright protection, the owner will be offered the following exclusive ownership rights:
The answer is simple. Registration affords extra protection including :
Registration will maximize the amount of damages you can recover in the event of infringement or improper use. If you register the copyright within the first 90 days of publication or before the infringement occurs, you will be able to recover attorney’s fees and statutory damages. Statutory damages, not to exceed $150,000.00 per infringement, are provided for under the Copyright Act. In the absence of registration, the copyright holder can only recover actual damages. Actual damages are based on the harm caused to the copyright holder and may be minimal and/or difficult to establish and define. The burden rests on the shoulders of the copyright holder (the plaintiff) to prove the value and scope of actual damages.
Registration provides proof of ownership. In the event someone infringes or takes your work, it is your burden as the plaintiff to prove that you actually own the work. Your registration will provide such proof and allow you to avoid a complex and costly battle to substantiate ownership.
Notice of your copyrighted work will be available to the public. The U.S. Copyright Office will add your copyrighted work to their searchable database. This notice will be of assistance in the event that someone should infringe upon your work and claim “ innocent infringement” as a defense.