We get a lot of the same questions asked by clients and those looking to see if they have a case here at Tobi Law. As an entertainment law firm, we pride ourselves on being able to think outside of the box when providing solutions to our clients. Today we’re answering some of the most commonly asked questions.
What is a copyright?
A copyright is a form of protection given under law by the United States that gives exclusive rights to the original authors of original works. This can include literary work, dramatic, musical, novels, movies, poetry, songs, computer software, computer architecture, and other certain intellectual work whether it’s published or not. Copyright laws are often misunderstood and while you don’t have to register to claim copyright, there are certain advantages to registering.
What is copyright infringement?
If you use work that is copyrighted without authorization of the author, this is copyright infringement. However, there are circumstances under the fair use doctrine where you can use a sample or quote without permission of the author. However, you should always obtain permission if you’re in doubt.
Who owns the copyright in my band’s album?
Keep in mind that sound recordings are different than phonorecords. Sound recordings, by law, are defined as creative works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds. Common examples include recordings of music, drama, or lectures. However, a phonorecord is the physical object in which works of authorship are embodied – the album. The word “phonorecord” includes cassette tapes, CDs, LPs, 45 r. p. m. disks, as well as other formats.