Theoretically, you should not need to register an original item your business has created for copyright as the very act of creating something novel should be automatically protected by federal law. However, applying for copyright does provide you with greater protection as it means that there will be fewer attempts at infringement.
Copyright protection may be useful if your business website or marketing material contains images, video, slogans or content that you think are unique and distinguish your business from any other. Whatever business you are in you should be aware of copyright law as it can help you as well as used against you if you have inadvertently used material from another individual or business without gaining permission.
Nevada does not have any specific copyright laws of its own. Federal Copyright Law applies to every state, including Nevada, so this is what will apply if you register your product for copyright. The copyright law which is relevant is located in Title 17 of the United States Code.
Registering your material with the U.S. Copyright Office
Applying for copyright is straightforward. All copyright registrations are handled by the U.S. Copyright Office. You can complete the process electronically or via the more old-fashioned route of sending your application in by mail.
Automatic protection applies to anything that you produce and distribute publically. This might mean a logo, images, photos, web content as well as designs and templates for new products. However, applying for copyright takes this protection one step further by formalizing the process.
Registration can be easily done using the U.S. Copyright Office’s online registration site, eCo. You will need to register first as a new user on the eCo website. Once you have set up an account, you can use the login for any further copyright registrations in the future.
You will then need to proceed to the “Register a New Claim” link which will become visible as soon as you have opened a new account. Once you have done that, you fill in the online application form, giving details of what it is that you are registering for copyright. After completing the application form, you then proceed to make payment online and submit your form.
The same process can be done offline using a hard copy application form provided by the Copyright Office and sent to the Office when completed.
Copyright is confirmed and displayed by the small “c” sign within a circle positioned bear or after any piece of work you have created for use in your business. The copyright symbol is followed by the year copyright was obtained and the name of the individual, business or company that owns the copyright.
Protecting your business against litigation
Copyright law allows the owner of an image, slogan, logo or other item to sue any other individual or business that uses the same material without their permission.
These days, it is far easier to discover copyright infringement. This means that if you do use random images, logos, slogans or other material, even if they appear very similar but are not completely identical, you may find that you receive a request for payment from an attorney for using the material without permission. There are few legal defenses that you can use against this if it happens to you. It is better not to use any material in your websites or marketing material that you have not created yourself to safeguard against being accused of copyright infringement.
Legal advice about copyright laws and registration in Nevada
If you need legal advice about applying for copyright or what you should do to avoid copyright infringement in Nevada, talk to one of our knowledgeable business law attorneys at the Pintar Albiston in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can call to make an appointment at 702-685-5255.
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