Frequently Asked Questions

Know the answers to the most frequently asked questions about our services.

What is copyrighting, and why is it important?

Starting with creation, when a person creates something that falls within the umbrella of copyrighting (like a video, book, song, photo, app, etc.) and if the creation is original, then this work of art is automatically protected by US copyright laws. Since protection is automatic, most creators aren’t inclined to register their work with the US Copyright Office, but copyright law grants creators exclusive rights for their creations.

How do I know whether I want a copyright, trademark, or a patent?

Trademarks generally protect words, symbols, phrases, or designs that distinguish brands so consumers can easily understand the source of their potential purchases. Some of us call it the brand name, but when it comes to trademarks, we’re more focused on brand recognition.

On the other hand, patents are used to protect inventions and their designs and functionalities. In other words. Every new and useful machine, process, improvement, or composition of matter should be patented. In doing so, 35 U.S.C. § 101 gives owners exclusive rights to employ processes or manufacture products.

Lastly, copyrights are registered to protect original and artistic works which include art, photographs, books, music, and movies.

Will the copyright give me rights all over the internet?

Yes, they do. In fact, they apply just as they would in other traditional modes of media. Unless a copyright owner has permitted you or has mentioned limitations or exceptions in their application, activities such as distribution, mailing, uploading, and mass transmissions will be affected accordingly. If said limitations do not exist, then you and other people who shared the copyrighted work over the internet will be subject to copyright infringement laws. That being said, the penalties of infringing copyrighted work could be as high as $150,000.

What propriety items fall under the hood of copyrights?

Copyrights can protect an author’s original works, including dramatic, literary, audiovisual, musical, and artistic works. This includes novels, poetry, songs, movies, architecture, and computer software. The Copyright Act defines the term ‘author’ as all kinds of creators, including visual artists, composers, writers, filmmakers, choreographers, musicians, architects, and even computer software programmers. Our website may refer to all of these individuals and agencies as ‘creators’ to avoid any confusion.

What are the pros of using a copyrights symbol on my imagery?

As it turns out, original works that were created after March 1st of 1989 do not need to be copyrighted to be protected by copyright law. However, there are quite a few benefits of adding a copyright notice to them, such as:
1. It notifies users that that the copyright to your work has already been claimed.
2. In the case of published works copyright notices can prevent defendants in copyright infringement actions and damages caused by ‘innocent infringement’.
3. Doing so will identify copyright owners when their work was published, which could be very useful for those looking for permission to use the work.
4. Doing so will also typically identify the first time the publication was copyrighted. This will assist in determining terms of copyright protection.

What relevance does the signing and dating of images hold?

You don’t necessarily have to date or sign your works to have them protected by US Copyright Law. However, including all of this information could be useful in protecting your work, such as:
1. Doing so will identify the author of an original work, which could be useful for those parties that are seeking permissions to use your work.
2. Signing and dating works could prevent works from becoming ‘orphans’ since they clearly identify the author and specify the terms in the copyright. and specify the terms in the copyright.
3. If the author’s real name appears in the work, then the terms of the copyright may be based on the age of the author plus an additional seventy years. Including this information could help communicate whether a work of art is copyrighted and when this copyright will expire.

What is the significance of the terms “all rights reserved”?

Copyright owners typically use this phrase to signify that they have reserved all the rights that were granted to them by copyright law. For instance, videographers that post their works online through stock photo-hosting websites such as Pexel, will commonly post their ‘All Rights Reserved’ notice in their work’s title description. Not using this phrase will not have any legal implications since it is not mandatory according to copyright law.

I have painting, can these be copyrighted?

Section 102(a) in the US Copyright Act states that copyrights extend to all original authorship works that are fixed in tangible mediums of expression. So, to answer your question, federal copyright law will protect your work during its development over time and once it has been completed. Of course, there are numerous other benefits of voluntarily registering your work with the Copyright Office.

Should I wait for a piece to be complete, such as a manuscript, or do I apply for a copyright at any given point during the creation process?

This is a common question among people who consider copyrighting their work. Well, there is no one-size-fits all answer to this question because the answer depends on your priorities. The answer to this question should typically depend on the nature of your work, your financial resources, how it is going to be used, and the probability of actionable infringement.

Can we shorten the time taken for the “Certificate of Registration”? Also, how long does it usually take?

Yes, the US Copyright Office provides expedited services called ‘Special Handling’ and is only applicable in certain circumstances. Special Handling eliminates delays in the examination of claims by the Copyright Office and ensures that the application is expedited if a certificate is required for pending or prospective litigation, customs matters, and contract issues. That being said, these applicant requests are examined within more or less five business days.

Is it necessary that I use my own name while registering my work?

Copyright Law defines anonymous works as ‘no natural person being identified as author’. Suppose their name appears on the phone records and copies of the work. In that case, it is not called anonymous work, even if the author prefers not to reveal their identity during the registration process. If you’re interested in the latter strategy, you can identify your work under a fictitious name, which could be a stage name, pen name, or any other pseudonym form.

I don’t reside within the USA, can I still register my copyright within USA?

Any work protected by U.S Copyright law, including those that originated in foreign countries, can be registered. In the United States, all the works are protected, regardless author’s nationality. The works that were first published in the U.S or in a country with which we have a copyright treaty can also be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

I am currently what you refer to as a minor, can I still apply for a copyright?

Yes, if you are a minor you can also claim copyright. They can also file registration with the U.S. Copyright Office. State laws may influence the business dealings that include copyrights owned by minors. It will be wise to consult a professional attorney to acquire more information on relevant state laws.

Is it necessary for my work to be published before I copyright?

No, it is not necessary to publish your work to protect it from copyright. You can also copyright an unpublished work.

Are there any restrictions by Regal Law in place against copyrights protection?

Yes, there are a few things that Regal Law does not provide copyright protection because the U.S. Copyright doesn’t allow their digital filing. Such as:

• Group of Newspaper Issues
• Group of Newsletter Issues
• Group of Serial Issues

I am a pastry chef, can I get my recipes copyright protection?

Just a simple listing of ingredients does not qualify for copyright protection. But a recipe can get copyright protection if it is published in a renowned cookbook or is famous. We would not advise you to submit a recipe for copyright protection if you are planning to keep it secret because all the copyright applications are public records.

Recently I started a business, I need to get my brand name, slogan, title, or logo copyright protected?

No, we do not provide copyright protection to any names, titles, or phrases. But a logo might get copyright protection under a few conditions. If a logo has credible authorship, it can qualify for both copyright and trademark registration.

Let’s suppose I have a concept, plan, or a mere idea. Can I still file a copyright?

No, your ideas, concepts, methods, or plans cannot get copyright protection. The only way to copyright your ideas is to present them in a tangible form, like in writing or a digital copy.

Assuming the copyright gets registered, what are my rights?

When you register the copyright, you get the right to do multiple things, like:

• You can distribute copies of your work
• You can publicly display your work.
• You can showcase your work publicly, in person, or record both.
• Republish or reproduce the copies of your work.
• Create derivatives of your work

I want to file copyrights infringement, what evidence do I need?

To prove copyright infringement, the copyright owner has to prove the following things:

• You should prove your authentic ownership of the copyright.
• You can prove factual copying by circumstantial or direct evidence. In order to prove a circumstantial claim, you must prove that the infringer had access to your copyrighted work before the creation of the infringing work, and the work contains similarities with your copyright work.
• If the copyright owner is claiming a substantial similarity, then the owner must provide evidence that the copyrighted elements in the two works are very similar.