Wednesday, April 25, 2012

BEMA Affiliate member Focus:

Visit  to answer any questions related to your creative and intellectual property and copyright protection.

Protect your work.

Charles D. Sharp
Chief Executive.  Founder
Black Emergency Managers Association

Frequently Asked Questions about Copyright

What is a copyright?
A copyright is a form of protection provided by the United States via its laws for works in the following categories; audiovisual, literary, sculptural, dramatic, graphic, musical, pictorial, architectural, pantomimic, cartographic and choreographic.  The protection is normally documented by a certificate issued for published and unpublished works of original authorship.
Who can file a copyright?
Anyone (man, woman or child) may file a claim for a copyright.
How long is a copyright good for?
For works created after January 1, 1978, as a general rule, protection lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years.
What is a poor man’s copyright?
Copyright protection does not cover what is commonly known as a poor man’s copyright which is the practice of sending one’s self a copy or one’s work through the mail.  It is thought that the postmark on the unopened mail provides protection but it does not.
How long does it take for the US Copyright Office to process a copyright application?
The processing time depends on the how the application is filed.  If an application is filed electronically it normally takes about 90 days.  If the application is filed by paper processing can take up to a year.
Why should I copyright my intellectual property?
Without a copyright your work may be infringed upon with no legal recourse available.
What is the difference between a copyright and a trademark?
A copyright pertains to works of original authorship in categories noted above.  Trademarks are protected symbols, phrases, words and designs.
What is the difference between a copyright and a patent?
Patents protect discoveries, inventions and the useful utilities.
What sorts of things are eligible for copyright?
The types of things that are eligible for copyrights include architecture, literary work, dramatic work, artistic work, poetry, novels, songs, movies and computer software.
What does the copyright symbol look like?
The copyright symbol can be made on a typical computer keyboard by hitting the keys Ctrl+Alt+C = ©
Is my material protected if I put a copyright symbol on it even though I have not applied and received a copyright certificate for it?
Putting a copyright symbol on your work without registering it affords no legal recourse in cases of infringement.
Where is the copyright office located?
The US Copyright Office is located in Washington, DC about a ½ block from the United States capitol.
Does the Copyright Office have branch offices throughout the country?
What is copyright infringement?
The use of someone else’s intellectual property without proper authorization.
How can I protect my material from infringement?
By properly registering your work with the US Copyright Office.
How do I report infringement?
Infringement is generally considered a civil matter and must be pursued in federal court.
How do I copyright my work? will properly file your work/intellectual property with the United States Copyright Office.
How much does it cost to copyright my work?
When using the entire cost for properly filing a copyright application is $100.00 for a regular registration, $920 for express handling for a regular registration and $180.00 for a preregistration application.
Are there different types of copyrights?
The two different types of applications typically filed are registration and preregistration.
What is a copyright preregistration application?
A preregistration application protects unfinished work temporarily and gives notice to the US Copyright Office of one’s intent to file a regular application upon completion of the work.
What is a copyright registration application?
A registration application is typically filed for finished works along with the submission of the work for examination.
What is the difference between a preregistration application and a registration application?
A preregistration application temporarily protects unfinished works while a regular application is filed to protect completed work.
Is the submission of work required for both registration and preregistration applications?
Preregistration applications do not require the submission of unfinished work.
Registration applications require the submission of work for examination purposes.
How long does it take for the copyright office to process a preregistation?
Preregistration applications require minimal processing since no work is submitted for examination.  Typically, preregistration applications are closed upon receipt by the US Copyright Office.
Why isn’t work required to be submitted for a preregistration application?
Because the work is unfinished when one submits a preregistration application.
If I file a preregistation application am I also required to file a registration application?
Once your work is finished you are required to submit a registration application along with the completed work.
In the world of copyrights what is a deposit?
The word ‘deposit’ is typically used by the US Copyright Office when referring to your work/intellectual property.
Does a US Copyright certificate provide protection beyond the United States?
In some cases, yes.   It is advisable to research this matter to be certain.
Does a US copyright afford reciprocity with any other countries?
Yes.  But once again, it is advisable to research this matte to be certain.
What is WIPO?
WIPO stands for the World Intellectual Property Organization.
What is ASCAP?
ASCAP stands for The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
How can CopyrightPro help me file my copyright?
CopyrightPro will quickly and professionally file you registration or preregistration application with the US Copyright Office for a reasonable fee.
Please outline the process my application goes through once filed with CopyrightPro.
The processing of your application will normally take about 90 days once properly filed with the US Copyright Office.  Once your application is approved you will be sent a copyright certificate via regular mail.   CopyrightPro has experience handling thousands of applications.
Why should I use CopyrightPro versus any of the other services offered on the world wide web?
Because CopyrightPro is probably the only business that is staffed by former workers of the US Copyright Office and  is therefore very familiar with the workings of the process like no other.  Also, unlike some of the other businesses it is located in Washington, DC, where the US Copyright Office is located.  CopyrightPro also offers a reasonable price for its services, unlike most of the businesses offering the same service.
What is an ISBN?
ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number.  It is a unique number normally assigned to a book title.  You may want to check with our publisher for additional information.
What is an ISSN?
ISSN stands for International Standard Serial Number.  It is a unique number normally assigned to a print or electronic publication.  Check with your publisher for additional information.
What is an ISRC?
ISRC stands for International Standard Recording Code.  It is the internationally recognized identification tool for sound and music recordings.
What is a Pseudonym and what does it have to do with copyrights?
A pseudonym is a name that a person or group uses as a fake name or pen name.  Some people use their pen names when registering their copyrights.
What is domicile and what does it have to do with copyright?
Domicile is normally considered your place of residence.   This is one of the questions you will be faced with when filling out a copyright application.
What is considered Publication?
To publish is to make available to the public.
Is my work copywritten once it is published?
What is a copyright Claimant?
A copyright claimant is the person or entity claiming the work.
What does ‘limitation of claim’ mean?
This is something you will encounter on a copyright application.  Limitation of claim means that you want to limit your claim to only the work you created.  Example: You wrote lyrics for a song that was previously copyrighted for the melody.  Your work has the same title as the original song but when you file the claim you want to limit your claim to the lyrics only.  Thus, limitation of claim.

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