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Copyright 2017 Gustavo Graphics. All Rights Reserved.

There are many options to keep a creation safe. If someone uses a design from our personal brand, it constitutes an infringement of copyright and therefore subjects to substantial liability under federal copyright law.

How can I get copyright protection?

Every creation gets automatic trademark and copyright under state law. Proving that the creation is ours is the most important thing, then if someone uses it, it’s possible to take to the court. It doesn’t apply if it’s sold to a client and that someone can prove the purchase.

Copyright is automatically transferred upon purchase.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Passed on October 12, 1998, by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17 of the United States Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of online services for copyright infringement by their users.

The DMCA’s principal innovation in the field of copyright is the exemption from direct and indirect liability of Internet service providers and other intermediaries. This exemption was adopted by the European Union in the Electronic Commerce Directive 2000. The Copyright Directive 2001 implemented the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty in the EU.

How to find if any work is being stolen?

Google provides a great search tool where it’s possible to “search by image” and upload the work file.

How to keep it safe?

The LegalZoom offers a great service to register copyright. Registering your copyright greatly enhances your legal protections against infringement.

The advantages of registering a copyright include the following:

1. Establishes a public record of the copyright holder’s ownership.

2. Enables copyright holders to sue infringers in federal court.

3. If made before or within 5 years of publication, establishes sufficient evidence in court concerning the validity of the copyright and the facts stated in the copyright certificate.

4. If registration is made within 3 months of publication of the work or at any time prior to an infringement of the work, the copyright owner is entitled to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees in federal court. Without registration, only an award of actual damages and profits will be available, and these can be quite difficult to prove.

5. Allows the copyright owner to record the registration with U.S. Customs to protect against the importation of infringing copies into the US.

The law is currently unsettled with regard to websites that contain links to infringing material; however, there have been a few lower-court decisions which have ruled against linking in some narrowly prescribed circumstances. One is when the owner of a website has already been issued an injunction against posting infringing material on their website and then links to the same material in an attempt to circumvent the injunction. Another area involves linking to software or devices which are designed to circumvent (digital rights management) devices, or links from websites whose sole purpose is to circumvent copyright protection by linking to copyrighted material.