Copyright protection is essential for artists and designers who wish to safeguard their literary works, musicals, art, movies, website content, photographs, songs, architecture and computer software. Once a protection is put in place, anyone who reproduces, publicly displays, performs or distributes the work without the copyright owner’s permission may be charged with infringement. 

There are a myriad of works that are protected under the copyright; yet, some items are not eligible. Domain names, certain recipes, brands, logos, slogans, ideas, systems, methods or concepts are not protected. 

Setting up copyright protection 

You do not need to apply for copyright protection. Rather, it is automatically put in place once the work is created and placed into a form that is accessible to others. 

As a copyright owner, you are able to do the following: 

  • Distribute copies of the work by selling or transferring to the public  
  • Reproduce the work 
  • Perform the work publicly  
  • Display the work however deemed fit 

Owners can also give the authority for others to exercise the same rights. 

If you choose to register the copyright with the Copyright Office, you are able to seek legal action in case infringement takes place. 

Maintaining your copyright 

Copyrights can last a lifetime, depending on certain factors, including if the work has been published as well as the date of the first publication. If the work was created after 1978, the protection will last 70 years past the author’s lifetime. Anything created prior to 1978 is subject to different criteria. Yet, once copyrights are registered, they do not need renewal. 

Copyrights help to protect your artistic works. It is critical that you understand how they work so you can maximize their use.