What type of copyright protections are available when publishing works online?

Copyright Protection Design Flat

Copyright protection is automatic once you create an original work, which can range from musical work, artistic, literary or any other intellectual work. The law does require that this work  be fixed in a tangible medium of expression. So, publicizing a work online falls under the protection of copyright laws, as any electronically readable format is considered a “tangible medium of expression.”

Being the owner of a copyright gives you the exclusive right to: 

  1. reproduce your work;
  2. publicly display your work;
  3. distribute your work;
  4. create derivative works based on your work;
  5. perform your work; and
  6. in the case of sound recordings, to transmit the sound or digital audio of your work.

Any copyright owner can transfer the rights to their work to other individuals.

Although there is no need to file any documentation to own a copyright, it is important to make it clear, especially online, that you own the copyright to a certain work if you want your work to be protected. The correct form of a copyright notice is “Copyright or © (date) by (name of author or owner)”. You can also include a watermark into any finished documents and this way, the author will be identified directly on the original work. Additionally, an individual would need to have actually registered the copyright if they are looking to bring a suit against another individual for infringement.

What are some ways to protect your work online?

When posting your original work online, not only is it important to make it clear that you own a copyright to the specific material you publish, but you should make it easy for an individual to contact you regarding permission to use your work. You can also go ahead and publish, alongside your work, what other users can or cannot do with you work so there is no need to contact you and prolong the process. 

Additionally, a copyright owner should always monitor their work to ensure that it is not being used in a manner not-intended by the owner. This way, the copyright owner can enforce the rights they have to their original work.

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Aviv Asoulin


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.

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