Legal Help with Copyright
LegalShield Small Business Legal Plans offer small business owners access to business lawyers in their local areas for a fraction of the normal cost.
What is Copyright?
Copyright is a form of intellectual property that protects authors, artists and creators from unauthorized individuals or organizations using their original works. Copyright law covers creative works such as songs, novels, movies, computer software, poetry and architecture.
- If you or your business is the author of an original work, filing a copyright gives you the exclusive rights to control and profit from that copyrighted work.
- For example, if you paint a picture or write a book, a copyright gives you the exclusive right to make copies of that work and sell them.
- If you’re trying to protect a name or tagline, you likely also need a trademark, not just copyright protection. Learn more about trademark law here.
Copyright for Small Businesses
As a small business owner, you may think copyright applies less to you than it does to those working in fields more traditionally considered as creative. The truth is that every business has materials that may benefit from filing a copyright, from the words on your website to the promotional videos, flyers, and ads that you’ve put time and money into creating. While your product may be the central focus of your company, don’t forget about protecting the copyrights that comprise your brand.
If you’re not sure which type of protection you need, visit our general intellectual property law page.
What Does a Copyright
Some businesses may take the approach that intellectual property matters can be handled in-house to save on lawyer fees, but failing to get legal help when needed can lead to mistakes that end up being costly in the long run. A copyright lawyer can assist with:
- Determining which small business copyright to file;
- Preparing and filing the actual copyright registration; and
- Copyright infringement issues for either defense or asking others to cease using your copyrighted items.
In the United States, as soon as you create something original in a fixed medium, it’s copyrighted automatically. However, if you’re looking to protect your work in the event you need to take action against infringement you should formally register with the United States Copyright Office.
How A Lawyer Can Help:
- A lawyer will assist with the registration process to make sure your copyright registration is correct and enforceable
- A copyright lawyer can help you enforce your copyright protections and handle copyright infringement dispute resolutions
A lawyer can also ensure you’re on the right path. The last thing you want is to do is file for a copyright when you should also be filing for a trademark or the item does not qualify in the first place. Even if you’re sure you need a copyright, you don’t want to file it by yourself and think you’re protected only to find out later that there was an issue with your registration.
There’s an easy and affordable solution, a Small Business Plan from LegalShield.
If someone misuses your copyrighted work without permission or license, they are infringing upon your copyright. And if you’ve registered your copyright, you may be able to take action against that individual or business, if warranted.
A Lawyer Can:
- Contact the party to have the infringing work removed or taken down
- File a claim against that party for statutory damage
Your intellectual property and copyrights are an essential part of your brand identity, and having them stolen can cause real damage to your business. By working with a lawyer, you can stop the infringement and collect any compensation owed.
How Much Does a Copyright Lawyer Cost?
Most lawyers cost between $150-$400 per hour. An experienced intellectual property lawyer may charge $150-$500 to register a copyright.
When filing a copyright registration, it’s important to work with a specialist that truly understands how to follow the filing rules and ensure you get the right protection.
If you have a small business plan from LegalShield, you can register your copyright yourself for only $35-$55 (the cost of federal court filing fees). But, you’ll complete the registration process with a copyright lawyer by your side. They’ll answer questions, provide legal advice and review your registration documents before you file them, all for a fraction of typical law firm fees.
Key Features of Our Small Business Legal Plans
LegalShield’s business plans can help you in the following areas.
Legal consultation from a provider lawyer on business legal matters, with legal research for each issue, if needed.
Receive help with business legal matters more efficiently with professional communications issued on your behalf.
Put business-related legal documents through legal review.
A collection letter from a provider lawyer could help you recoup payments more efficiently.
How LegalShield Works
Finding solutions to your legal issues doesn’t have to be stressful, complicated or expensive.
LegalShield puts the power of legal representation within reach of any individual, family, or business. We work hard to make it easy, simple, and affordable to get the legal help you need, when you need it.
Krizia Verplancke of provider firm Davis, Miles, McGuire, Gardner has been serving LegalShield members since 2017.
Spencer Tadashi Schiefer of provider firm Davis, Miles, McGuire, Gardner has been serving LegalShield members since 2011.
Michael E. Medina Jr. of provider firm Davis, Miles, McGuire, Gardner has been serving LegalShield members since 1993.
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I was completely clueless at how to begin the trademarking process for my business and about to spend hundreds of dollars unnecessarily, however thanks to the attorney I spoke with he led me in the right direction and helped me save so much money and time.
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