Flat Fee Copyright Application
Overview of Copyrights and Copyright Protection
Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works. Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.
The Importance of Copyright Registration and Protection
Copyright registration isn’t necessary to own such rights. However, registration of your copyrighted works creates a public record of those rights, a presumption of validity, as well as important legal advantages, should you have to protect those rights against third party misuse or infringement. Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that to even bring a lawsuit against another for copyright infringement, the copyright owner must have a federal copyright registration.
Don’t Fall For DIY and Online Fast/Cheap Shops
Many business owners need legal help to obtain a copyright registration, but are afraid of paying unknown, possibly large and unpredictable legal fees. To ensure against potential “sticker shock,” we tell clients upfront what costs to expect to from us to prepare and file a US Copyright Office copyright registration application (see above).
Some companies try to minimize costs by doing it themselves or by using online services like www.legalzoom.com, rather than working with professional legal counsel with experience handling the intricacies of copyright law. While such options are fine in certain limited circumstances, the danger with online services or “do it yourself” options instead of using an attorney to assist with your copyright registration is that the US Copyright Office registration process is not forgiving of errors and omissions – some of which can be fatal to your application for registration.
Copyright Application Flat Rate Pricing Options
This option includes an introductory call regarding the application, collection of required information for the application, and one draft of the application for client approval and comment before filing. This option excludes preparing copyright assignments and requires the client to provide the deposit specimen.
The Advanced Option includes all of the Basic Option plus drafting a copyright assignment to transfer ownership of the copyrights from up to three authors to the applicant.
Contact us for additional information
We bill for custom copyright application services on an hourly basis due to complexity. See Engaging with Us for how we interact with clients.
Benefits of Our Flat Fee Copyright Pricing Program
With our flat rate services, you get the best of both worlds:
You will get trustworthy advice and assistance from experienced legal professionals to walk you through the entire process of applying for and registering your work with the US Copyright Office at an affordable, transparent, and predictable cost.
The Not So “Fine Print”
Limitations, Conditions, and Caveats
The filing of a copyright registration application is not the end – it is the beginning of the federal registration process. This process can take several months, and can sometimes require additional legal work. The flat fee would NOT include any work needed on the application, if any, after filing – which would be billed hourly at our standard rates. Any additional work which may be needed is impossible to estimate prior to filing. If more work than an hour or so of additional work were to become necessary, the client is consulted before any work is initiated. In some instances, a flat fee is not appropriate. In those situations, we would tell you in advance what costs to anticipate.
All flat fees must be paid in advance. Invoices or requests for retainers for future work needed will be sent in accordance with our standard billing process. As a courtesy, we accept most major cards and can accept online checks.
Additional Hourly Copyright Services
The U.S Copyright Office charges filing fees for recording assignments and other copyright related services. Should you opt for additional services, those expenses are not included in the above flat fees and will be added to your overall project cost. See below for a list of various additional copyright services we offer. Additionally, you can access the U.S. Copyright Fee Schedule for more information on the government fees for various services.
In addition to copyright registration and protection, we advise clients regarding the following issues:
You can find additional information in our Software Protection and Copyrights Overview page.