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New York, 08.07.2014  |  By Monica McCabe, Reprinted with Permission of Modern Miracles Magazine

Common Misconceptions About Copyrights.

One common misconception is that a creator must register a work with the U.S. Copyright Office in order to receive copyright protection. Copyright protection is afforded as soon as the work is embodied in physical form. Creators should indicate that they have ownership by placing a © date of creation, name of owner on the work. So, for example, at the bottom of the text, the creator should use the copyright symbol with the name of the owner and the date of creation. In any event, it is a good idea to copyright a work. It can be done online or you could consult a copyright attorney to complete the form and deposit a copy of the work with the U.S. Copyright Office.

In order to bring a lawsuit in the United States against another person or entity, the owner must have a copyright registration, and if it is done before the infringement occurs or within a few months of the first publication of a work, the owner can obtain its attorneys’ fees and certain damages provided in the Copyright Act called statutory damages if it prevails in the litigation.

What resources are available for Free legal information on how to trademark your company’s name for your products or services or how to obtain a copyright? As stated above, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office web site, is a good tool to use when trying to register trademark for a company’s products or services. Some bar associations put out free flyers regarding trademarks and other intellectual property. Check the American Bar Association web site or your state or city bar association web site. Also, the Department of State web sites will have information about obtaining a state registration.

The same is true for copyrights. The U.S. Copyright Office web site is and it is a good resource to use.

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