Any entrepreneur or business owner who deals in movies, music or any other performing art should have a basic understanding of copyright law. Any time a new work is created, you should immediately file for a copyright to protect what is yours. There is quite a bit that needs to be done to secure a copyright and ensure you are on the right side of the law. If you are looking to secure your first copyright, then it might be in your best interest to hire a copyright attorney to assist you.
The Help You Get From a Copyright Attorney
If you want to register for a copyright, there are quite a few forms that need to be filled out. An experienced copyright attorney can review your application to ensure everything is filled out correctly so that your application does not get rejected based on some minute mistake. An attorney can also make sure the material you are trying to copyright does not infringe on an already existing copyright. On the flip side of that coin, an attorney can also help you if it is discovered that someone has infringed on a copyright you own. An attorney is also a huge benefit when you need to negotiate licensing agreements.
How to Find a Copyright Attorney
When you deal in performing arts, chances are you know other artists, publishers or agents. These individuals could point you in the right direction to find a good copyright attorney. Otherwise, it should be fairly simple to conduct an online search in order to find an attorney who operates near you. It is always a good idea to meet with several different attorneys in order to weigh the pros and cons of each and have some options. You may need to pay a small fee to meet with each attorney. There are a few things to consider when meeting with each attorney.
First, you will want to make sure the attorney you are meeting with is familiar with specifically copyright law. A lot of attorneys advertise as dealing with intellectual property laws, which involve copyrights, trademarks and patents. You want an attorney who primarily or exclusively deals in copyrights. You will also want to consider how many years the attorney has been working in copyright law and what fees are associated with hiring this attorney. It can also be a good idea to look into how much litigation experience a certain attorney has in case you need to go to court over an infringement violation.
Ways to Keep Attorney Costs Down
Hiring an attorney to deal with your company’s copyrights is an investment. You are paying someone to deal with the heavy lifting, but the royalties you stand to gain from your copyrighted materials are often well worth it. With that being said, there are a few ways you can keep your attorney fees manageable. For example, pay attention if your attorney charges by the hour. If your attorney does, then you should try to keep meetings short and to the point. Prepare whatever questions you want to ask beforehand, and do not have a conversation about something completely unrelated while you are still on the clock.
You should also review all your legal bills carefully. Everything on the bills should be laid out clearly and with a full explanation of what precisely you are paying for. If something is unclear, you should ask your attorney for an explanation. You should also keep an eye out for any hidden expenses, which can include administrative or word processing services.
A copyright attorney can be a tremendous help. Look into what legal counsel is available to you in your area so that you can make an informed decision regarding what avenue you want to take to protect your copyrighted items.
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