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Dispelling myths about copyright protection for creators

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2024 | INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW - Intellectuall Property Litigation

New York is the preferred home for many musicians, artists and other creators. The Big Apple favors the creative-minded, offering possible access to professionals who can further their careers (producers, agents, etc.).

But if someone helps themselves to all or a portion of your work, it could hinder your growth as a creator. Below, you will learn more about copyright infringement if someone should ever steal your works.

Myth: the 30% rule

This misconception suggests that using less than 30% of someone else’s copyrighted work does not constitute infringement. In truth, unlawfully using even a fraction, if deemed the heart of the creation, can support an infringement claim. Courts examine the impact of the usage on the market value of your original work and other factors when determining infringement.

Myth: up for grabs if unregistered

Another common fallacy is the belief that if a work is not registered, it is free for everyone, but this is not so. Copyright protection is automatic upon creating an original work fixed in a tangible medium of expression, whether registered or not. However, registering copyrights offers additional benefits, such as the ability to sue for statutory damages.

Myth: unlimited educational use

Creators and artists should also be wary of the educational use myth. While copyright law does include a fair use provision that allows educational uses, this does not automatically include all usages. Factors such as the reason for the use, the amount used and the effect on the work’s market value are all considered.

In the digital age, where sharing is at our fingertips, creators must be well-informed about the risks of intellectual property theft. Seek guidance to create a legal safety net for your original works.