A copyright is the legal right to control an original work of authorship. Examples of copyrightable works include Internet websites (including all accompanying text and graphics), books, songs, paintings, movies, and computer programs. Our law firm handles copyright matters throughout southern California including Orange County (Irvine), Los Angeles and San Diego.
An original work of authorship is copyrighted at the time it is fixed to a tangible medium. Although registration is not required to own a copyright, it is advisable to register your work with the Copyright Offices in the United States and abroad. The reason for this in the U.S. is that, for all post-registration infringements, a copyright owner has the right to recover both statutory damages and attorney’s fees. The availability of statutory damages and attorneys’ fees can be a significant deterrent to a potential infringer and thus registering a copyright is often the best defense to an infringement. For more information, please see our Copyright Registration page.
Copyright laws generally prevent persons from impermissibly exploiting the creative works of others. The key inquiry in a matter of copyright infringement is whether substantial similarity exists between the works at issue. If substantial similarity does exist, an infringer may be forced to cease sales and pay damages to the copyright holder. When an infringement occurs, the copyright holder will usually start by sending a cease and desist letter to the infringer. For more information about infringements, please see our Copyright Infringement page.
Due to the potential availability of statutory damages and attorneys’ fees, copyright litigation can have large monetary amounts at issue very quickly. When a copyright infringement occurs and a quick or easy resolution is not reached, the matter may end up as a lawsuit in federal court. This involves the filing of a Complaint by the plaintiff, an Answer or motions to dismiss by the defendant, discovery such as interrogatories and depositions, and finally trial. In the event that you are located outside southern California and have a litigation issue here, we are happy to provide local counsel and pro hac vice services. For more information, please see our Copyright Litigation page. You may also see our intellectual property litigation page which includes some of the results that our law firm has achieved in litigation.
Please also feel free to contact us in anywhere in southern California - Orange County (Irvine), Los Angeles, or San Diego.