Copyright registration in Tampa is necessary to protect your works. The firm of Larson and Larson is here to help. Without registering your intellectual property, someone could illegally copy or use your work.

Copyright registration provides great protection, like in the following case that made national headlines.

Gaye v. Thicke

In 2015, a Los Angeles jury awarded Marvin Gaye’s estate $7.3 Million for “Blurred Lines” infringement of Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up.”

In 2016, Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, and T.I. appealed the verdict citing error by the court in considering sound recordings instead of sheet music.

The Ninth Circuit will decide whether the verdict stands or whether the lines between legal inspiration and infringement were blurred. The protection afforded to Marvin Gaye and his estate is a direct result of registration of his work through the copyright office.

Why Should I Register my Copyrights in Tampa?

Since the very first copyright statute in 1790, authors and artists have registered their works with the U.S. Copyright Office. Registration is the best way to avoid plagiarizers and counterfeiters.

As access to the internet has grown, distribution of other people’s intellectual property increases. More artists have chosen copyright registration in Tampa for their intellectual property in 2017 than ever before. Here are a couple of reasons for that trend:

Statutory Damage Remedies

U.S. intellectual property laws establish standards for statutory damages. These remedies greatly protect the owner from infringement of registered works.

Statutory damages establish a range of compensatory relief available to remedy the harm caused by an infringer’s use. With harsh and codified penalties, statutory damages can become a great tool for recovery of damages.

Awards for infringement range from $750-30,000 per work infringed. If the infringement is willful, the award can be up to $150,000. These remedies enable you to enforce your rights against anyone who infringes your work.

All owners in Tampa must go through the registration process. Ideally, applications are filed before infringement occurs or within three months of publication of the work. For availability of all remedies, copyright registration should occur before infringement.

The Laches Defense

Once you register for your copyrights in Tampa, you can enforce your rights against infringers. However, infringers will likely hire lawyers and challenge your claims at every level. One of the defenses that defendants use is the laches defense.

Laches is not a term unique to copyrighted intellectual property cases. It refers to the lack of activity on the part of a claimant. The idea is if a defendant can show that you should have acted more quickly, the claim may be limited or dismissed as a result of “sleeping on your rights.” When used in litigation, the laches defense asserts that too much time has passed since enforcement of your rights. This can negatively impact your case or the damages available.

Take Notice

Since 1989, published works do not have to include a copyright notice to gain protection under the law. Although it is not mandatory, it is still recommended to include this notice.

After you complete the registration process, you should embed a digital watermark that contains intellectual property and contact information. This information will be used to prevent internet users from downloading your content without permission. Removal of your digital watermark is illegal under the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty of 1996. This treaty extends the validity of your intellectual property into international waters. It is important to protect your work both here in Tampa, and overseas.

Freedom through Copyright Registration

Many people choose to wait until after disaster strikes. Instead, they could have avoided the entire ordeal with initial copyright registration.

If you have any works that you need to register in the Tampa Bay area, the professionals at Larson & Larson can guide you through the process. With nearly 30 years of experience, Larson & Larson can assist with filing for copyright registration in Tampa.

To get started, contact Larson and Larson today at 813-223-3226.