Practice Areas / Copyrights
Pittsburgh based Copyright law firm of Ference & Associates prepares and prosecutes copyright registrations following the case law and legal trends of copyrightable works.
The development of digital media and computer network technologies have introduced new difficulties in enforcing copyright, and inspired additional challenges to copyright law’s philosophic basis. Simultaneously, businesses with great economic dependence upon copyright have advocated the extension and expansion of their copyrights, and sought additional legal and technological enforcement.
Copyright as enacted by most governments, is a legal concept giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights. These rights are usually for a limited time. It is an intellectual property form (like the patent, the trademark, and the trade secret) applicable to any expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive and discrete. Typically, the duration of copyright is the whole life of the creator plus fifty to a hundred years from the creator’s death, or a finite period for anonymous or corporate creations.
Copyright initially was conceived as a way for government to restrict printing. The contemporary intent of copyright is to promote the creation of new works by giving authors control of and profit from them. Copyrights are said to be territorial, which means that they do not extend beyond the territory of a specific state unless that state is a party to an international agreement.
While many aspects of national copyright laws have been standardized through international copyright agreements, copyright laws of most countries have some unique features. Some jurisdictions have required formalities to establishing copyright, but most recognize copyright in any completed work, without formal registration.
Generally, copyright is enforced as a civil matter, though some jurisdictions do apply criminal sanctions.