Think somebody stole your copyright?|
Maybe, but can you prove it? Sure, as soon as your latest copyright is written, recorded or otherwise "ready to be copied", by law, you are a proud new copyright owner. But without third-party date-stamped evidence of your copyright ownership, you will have difficulty defending your copyrights.
Typically, people register their copyrights with their local government Copyright Office, or in many cases, the US Library of Congress. Copyright registration with a government agency will give the copyright holder rights to both punitive and statutory damages in the territory covered by the registration office.
WorldWideOCR recommends that all copyright holders acquire as much copyright protection as they can afford and that government copyright registration gives the copyright holder the highest degree of legal protection. Because these processes typically take several months to complete we have designed our SEAL™ file service to allow copyright holders to acquire an instant and more accurate date-stamp. The SEAL™ file will always exist to fortify any future registrations with a more accurate date of creation. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States of America:
§ 410. Registration of claim and issuance of certificate|
(d) The effective date of a copyright registration is the day on which an application, deposit, and fee, which are later determined by the Register of Copyrights or by a court of competent jurisdiction to be acceptable for registration, have all been received in the Copyright Office.
SEAL™ files allow you to securely date-stamp and redundantly archive your copyrights online instantly! Real-time international copyright protection! Learn how
Copyright Infringement Evidence:|
In order to prove that somebody stole your copyright, or conversely, to defend yourself if somebody accuses you of stealing their copyright, you will need to collect and provide three pieces of evidence:
1. Are the two copyrights in question similar?
Experts may be brought in to analyze the similarities or lack there-of between the two copyrights. If it is agreed that the two copyrights are indeed similar, than the claimant must then provide the second piece of evidence...
2. Did the defendant have access to the copyright in question?
You cannot steal a copyright that you've never seen or heard. There must be evidence of public disclosure of the copyright in question. Posting your copyright on the Internet is an example of public disclosure.
3. Who had possession of the copyright first?
A third-party witnessed copy of your work with a date-stamp to determine who had possession of the copyright first can be admitted as evidence by both parties.
If the copyright was registered with the US Library of Congress, this proof comes in the form of the registered copy of the copyright from the Copyright Office's Archive. Again, the problem is that the time between creation, public disclosure and actual copyright registration may lag anywhere between months to years, depending on when the copyright owner decided to register.
§ 407. Deposit of copies or phonorecords for Library of Congress|
(a) Except as provided by subsection (c), and subject to the provisions of subsection (e), the owner of copyright or of the exclusive right of publication in a work published in the United States shall deposit, within three months after the date of such publication...
WorldWideOCR's SEAL™ Files are designed to provide instant and international proof-of-ownership for your copyrights while you decide if, when and where you need to register your copyrights. Read more
What if I only SEAL™ my copyright and choose not to register with a Government Agency?|
First of all, to be of any value to you, any date-stamp you present must pre-date that of the work in question. Having said that, if you have protected your copyright with a SEAL™ file and not with a government registry, as long as you can provide evidence of public dislosure, you will still be able to produce all three pieces of evidence necessary to defend your copyrights, in any court, in any nation.
However, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work, you will have to first register with the US Copyright Office. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section ôCopyright Registration.ö
Along with legally admissable e-mail documentation sent from WorldWideOCR during the creation of your SEAL™ file, built into each SEAL™ file is a copy of the actual copyright itself, the exact date and time of processing, as well as other proprietary elements designed to further enhance the validity of the date-stamp.
However, without an official government copyright registration (of some kind) in the territory where the copyright infringement took place, you can not opt for statutory damages or recover your legal costs upon successful litigation. While SEAL™ files will stand up on their own, they are better used to augment subsequent conventional copyright registrations with a National Copyright Office.
Why should I use a SEAL™ file if I do choose to register with a government agency?
Simple... SEAL™ files give you an instantaneous, and therefore, more accurate date-stamp. You can SEAL™ your copyrights on the very day you create them...
Let's say you just finished your copyright today, filled out and submitted your copyright registration forms to your national copyright office and decided to submit your copyright to some contest. The next day, somebody with access decides to steal your copyright.
They also decide to make a copy and register your copyright as their own, maybe with the same registry, maybe even with a different country's registry. If their package arrives and is accepted by a national copyright office first, they will have successfully stolen your copyright by acquiring a credible date-stamp before you...
If you had applied a WorldWideOCR SEAL™ to your copyright prior to registration or public disclosure, you would be able to provide very credible evidence of your possession of the copyright pre-dating the defendants evidence.
In this Internet age, your copyright can now gain international exposure literally overnight. WorldWideOCR highly recommends that after you create your copyright, and before you make public disclosure, date-stamping your copyright becomes the second thing that you do.
No matter how you proceed with any future copyright registrations, your SEAL™ file will always credibly represent the earliest moment in history that your copyright was in your possession...
Another excellent Resource at Music-Law.com
WorldWideOCR Home Page