Archive for the ‘Copyright’ Category

I Published a Short Story; Do I Still Have Copyrights?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

As soon as your short story is on paper, you have authorship. Once you decide to sell that story to be part of a book or magazine, your rights may be transferred to a different party, depending on the situation.

Until the Early 1990’s;

• The most common contract was for a one-time use of the writer’s material license for the publisher.
• Contract meant writer agreed to selling “First North American Serial Rights” , for a set price to the publisher.
• The guidelines included the publisher selling the short story once, to the North American market.
• After published, author has reprint rights.

Currently: All Rights

• By Selling all rights, the author gives all copyright benefits of the work to the publisher.
• Author cannot resell the story in the future
• There are different variations depending on the publisher

• The publisher owns exclusive rights to the work if the author sells the story in a work-for-hire situation.
• The publisher, not the author is the legal author of the work
• The author must be paid, assigned or ordered for it to be a work-for-hire.

• Author can self-publish a short story and keep all rights.
• Examples are posting online, added it to an anthology, having a digital download available
• The author can sell and resell the rights in the US or in other countries.

If you would like to copyright protect your short story, offers an easy, step-by-step process.


Photo via Chris Drumm on Flickr

Where Can I Search To View A List Of Copyright Works and Copyright Authors?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Have you ever wondered if there is a centralized location where you can view what (or who) has a copyright protection? Have you ever read something and later wondered who copyright protected it?

Registered copyright works are listed online. In fact, The United States Copyright Office or the USCO has a website which lists these copyright registered authors. These are all works registered after January 1, 1978.

Copyright Your Work

To check copyright items:

1. Go to the US Copyright Office website at
2. Click “Search the Catalog” on the “Search Copyright Information” page.
3. Enter your search terms in the “Search for” box. You will enter the author’s name, the title
of the work, the document number, or a keyword.
4. Below, in the “Search by” category, click the subject you are searching for such as “Title”,
“Keyword”, etc.
5. You will receive the results of your search. (Below the “Search by” box you will see you
have the option to change the amount of records viewed per page.)

After this search, (or perhaps before) you may have realized that you want your name on that list and there is something you want to copyright protect. The process can be done at in a simple, time efficient fashion. The professional website will help you avoid the hassle sometimes associated with the copyright process.

Photo via Mike Seyfang on Flickr

What Is The Difference Between Copyright, and Patent?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Copyrights and patents are both protections created to prevent intellectual property from being copied, used illegally or sold by unauthorized parties. There is often confusion on the difference between the two. A patent protection will be more expensive than a copyright protection. In fact, an item can be copyrighted on

Copyright Your Work

Aside from the cost, there are other differences between a copyright and patent.

A copyright is:
• A protection on intellectual property
• Usually the life of the author plus 70 years (can be renewed)
• Examples include songs, movies, photos, books, etc
• A protection that begins as soon as the work is created.
• A claim that the item can not be used without the author’s permission

Patent is:
• Is a protection on an invention, a “new and useful” process, device or method.
• A property grant issued to intellectual property owners
• A right to exclude others from making, using or selling the invention
• Protection for 20 years (can be renewed)
• Examples include newest mouse trap, Mac Computer,
• Begins once the patent is issued.

Photo via BusinessSarah on Flickr

Can I Copyright Jewelry I Made?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Are you into fashion design and want to know if you can copyright your jewelry creations (considering you can’t copyright your clothing)? Maybe you thought of and sketched a detailed drawing of ring that you want to eventually sell? Whatever the case may be, jewelry can be copyright protected.

Copyright Your Work

Here is what to know on jewelry copyright:

• Copyright laws cover jewelry because it falls under “pictorial, graphic and sculptural works”.
• Once the jewelry is in tangible form, so perhaps simply a drawing of it or the finished piece can be copyrighted.
• Jewelry is under the big copyright umbrella of visual art.
• The more unique the design or item is, the easier it is to copyright.
• Copyright does not protect titles or names of a piece.

Do you want to copyright a piece of jewelry now? In order to copyright protect a piece of jewelry as visual art item, there is a process to follow. This process is all made possible online with the professionals at

Photo via Rach on Flickr

Copyright Infringement and Social Networking Websites

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, social media websites each having millions and millions of users. Since so many people are using these platforms, many have forgot copyright laws still exist.

There are people out there who have copyright protected work that believe their work is not safe due to social networking. Others, want to copyright their work to go after big business who are making money off of their work. Work can be copyright protected in an easy, simple, affordable way on

Copyright Your Work

So why can social media sites such as Pinterest and Tumblr get away with it? Websites such as Pinterest aim to promote businesses meaning it is basically free advertising for many. Overall, Pinterest is doing more good than harm. However, there have been lawsuits because in the big picture, copyright infringement is still taking place.

Pinterest, for example, gets around most copyright issues in two ways;

1. The Safe Harbor Provision under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Under that part of the law, a business like Pinterest will not be liable if its users put copyrighted materials online on its site if it:
(a) tells them not to
(b) has a system for taking copyrighted materials down right away if
the copyright owner complains.

2. In its terms of use, it provides that: “You … are solely responsible for … Content you post to Pinterest.” Also, users have to “agree not to post User Content that: … infringes any third party’s Intellectual Property Rights, privacy rights, publicity rights, or other personal or proprietary rights.” (Intellectual property rights include copyright.).

This means, Pinterest is saying, if you get sued then you, as an individual, will have to take responsibility. Considering there are millions of Pinterest users who “repin” each day, each user will not be sued for infringement. However, it’s important to be careful especially if you as a user are using Pinterest to promote your business (or make money).

The same applies for Facebook and Twitter; if it’s copyright protected, by law, you can not use it.

Photo via mkhmarketing on flickr

Copyright and Open Source Software

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Open-Source Software Copyright Information:

• Open-Source Software is developed by programmers who invest time, energy and skills for recognition.
• The Open-Source community fixes bugs and enhances software.
• Open source software is protected by copyright and restricted by license.
Copyright Your Work
• The software industry uses copyright laws to protect the developers and software owners.
• Software is protected upon creation
• Copyright law protects the software vendors to copy, and prepares derivative works.
• Open source software vendors are less restrictive than proprietary software vendors.
• They allow the enterprise to run and copy software and also modify and distribute modifications under the license conditions.

If you have software you would like to copyright, it’s important to do so. Copyright protecting items on Legal Central  offers an affordable, easy way to copyright protect a piece of work.

Photo via philmikejones on flickr

What Do I Do If Someone Is Suing Me For Violating Their Copyright?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Recently, a New York Times photographer, Robert Caplin sued blogger Perez Hilton for copyright infringement of 14 of his photographs for $150,000 per photo. Perez Hilton posted the photos to his website (with his own watermarks on the photos).

Photographer Caplin and blogger Hilton are a perfect example of a copyright infringement case.If you find yourself in similar shoes as the photographer (doing the suing) or blogger (being sued), it’s important to remember there are exceptions to copyright laws, punishments (and ways to copyright protect work in the first place).

Copyright Your Work

Guilty of Copyright Infringement:
• Anyone who reproduces, redistributes or republishes work which is copyrighted without the owner’s permission.
• Copyright infringement is a federal offense (regardless of ignorance to the laws).

Exceptions To The law:

• Fair use is the major exception to copyright infringement (Fair use is a defense not an excuse) .
• Fair use is most commonly applied in academic settings such as using the work for teaching, reporting and researching.
• Courts look to many factors in fair use including:

o the reason the copyrighted work was used

o the nature of the copyrighted work

o the amount of the copyrighted work used

o the effect on the potential market for the copyrighted work due to the use

Punishment 1: Civil Penalties
• Being found guilty of copyright infringement could mean having to pay damages.
• Damages are determined by the amount of money lost in profit from your infringement along with the number of times you infringed.
• You may also be responsible for paying legal fees.

Punishment 2: Criminal Penalties
• When you are guilty of copyright infringement in order to make gain financially or profit, if you distribute an item through the internet which is being sold (such as a cd or dvd), or if the infringement is more than $1000
• If found guilty you could spend a year in jail while being forced to pay financial damages and legal fees.
• When the infringement amount is over $2500 you could face up to five years in jail (along with the costs and damages).

If you are unhappy that people continually freely use your photos it’s highly suggested you copyright your work. Once your work is copyright protected, you have the right to stop others from using it.

You can avoid the hassle and time of the copyright process by using the LegalCentral website. For a price of $89.99 you can have your work copyright protected without going through a tedious process and pulling your hair out.

Photo via Chris Potter on Flickr

Can I Copyright My Candy Art or Cake Art or Other Food?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Perhaps you are a cook or baker and have a unique piece of food art that you want to copyright. Perhaps you are creating a cookbook of recipes and want to copyright the recipes. Considering food is a perishable item and the law says you can not copyright perishable items, you may be surprised to learn some of the facts behind food copyright laws.

Copyright Your Work

Here are a few things to remember regarding copyright laws with food and recipes:
• You can not copyright perishable items.
• Food is perishable and not “fixed” for copyright purposes.
• You can copyright a recipe.
• According to US copyright laws as of 2011, in order to copyright a recipe it must

1. Have “substantial literary expression” (for example, an explanation on the
history and importance of the recipe on a certain culture)

2. Be in written form (however, it does not have to be published)

• Recipe copyright laws are not firmly established. It’s common for professional cooks to freely duplicate each other’s recipes with or without attribution.If you are looking to copyright your recipe the meets the two requirements listed, there are costs involved. The process also calls for adequate time and energy.

As an alternative, professionals at offer an affordable, (not to mention safe and secure) easy way for anyone to obtain copyright protection on works. The process will most likely cost you $89.99 (before tax).

Photo via Yaniv Golan on Flickr

Who Is Getty Images And Why Are They Threatening To Sue Me?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Can you imagine opening your mail to a “Settlement Demand” letter saying you used an image on your website without licensing and will have to pay a large amount? It happens every day to thousands (many who didn’t even know they were doing anything illegal). Who is Getty Images after all?

Getty Images is:
• A business based off a model aimed at owning as many images as possible.
• Getty Images collects damages for individuals who have used the images without permission.
• One of the biggest stock photo agencies in the world.
• Composed of experts and lawyers who know everything (yes, everything) about copyright laws.
• Uses copyright laws to make money ( a lot of money).

Copyright Your Work
How they do it:
• Getty Images has a system which scans the internet constantly, seeking places where images have been used without copyright licensing.
• If the situation permits, they instantly send a letter to this person or company (who is using the image without licensing) along with a fee to pay.
• If the individual or company disregards the letter and decides not to pay, Getty Images will continue to send letters in order to receive the money they are requesting. Left unpaid, Getty Images will take the settlement letter a step further and then threaten a copyright lawsuit.
• The experts and lawyers at Getty Images know copyright law inside and out because that is their main focus.

It is important to learn from a large business like Getty Images about the importance of copyrighting your photos. By doing so, you will learn the value of protecting your own photos (before someone else does) and more importantly, have control over who uses your photos. Using, anyone can easily copyright at an affordable price.

Photo via Wonderlane on Flickr

Can I Be Sued For Using Other People’s Pictures On My Website?

Friday, September 6th, 2013

A picture is worth a thousand words; It’s true. A picture is also worth a thousand dollars, especially in lawsuits. Using a photo online that is not yours (on your blog, website, etc) could lead to a lawsuit. Let’s be real; there are photos everywhere online and websites like Pinterest, and Tumblr seem to promote using other’s photos. In the big picture, it doesn’t matter. This is the prime reason why there are so many misunderstandings when it comes to photos online and these misunderstandings could lead to trouble.

Common photo misunderstandings:
1. You can link back to the photo source and use the photographer’s name
2. As long as the photo is not full sized, it’s okay.
3. You add a disclaimer with the photo.
4. You didn’t make a profit from the image, so it’s okay to use.

These are misunderstandings, meaning they are not true. They often may lead people to trouble with copyright infringement.

Perhaps you are fed up with seeing your photos on websites that are producing a profit for others. The best and most intelligent thing you can do it copyright your work as soon as possible.
Copyright Your Work

The process to copyright a work can be tedious and time consuming. As an alternative, professionals at offer an affordable, (not to mention safe and secure) easy way for anyone to obtain copyright protection on works. The process will most likely cost you $89.99 (before tax). For an extra $30, an express service is an available option and you will obtain copyright rights sooner rather than later.

Photo via mkhmarketing on Flickr

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