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How long does copyright protection last?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2023 | Intellectual Property |

When one creates something, invents a new concept or finds a new idea, the protection of that thing is critical. One of the risks of putting something out into the world is that others are often eager to take that idea, produce similar works or steal the concept behind the idea. This can place a Connecticut creator in a difficult and frustrating position, underlining the importance of copyright protection. Seeking copyright protection is a critical step for creators, allowing them to maintain ownership of their original work.

Copyright protection is for original works, and creators can seek this protection even if the work is unpublished. Copyrights apply to written works, plays, movies, live performances, works of art, paintings and more. A copyright protects the creator’s exclusive right to own, sell, publish and maintain the work. If you have a copyright, you have sole authority to grant others to do the same for your work.

The duration of your copyright protection

To secure copyright protection, you must register the work with the U.S. Copyright Office. This includes submitting a completed application and at least one copy of the work. It is important to protect your work, even if you do not think it will gain much recognition. The term of the copyright protection depends on who created the work and when. If you created your work after January 1, 1978, the copyright protection is good for 70 years after your passing.

If entities, such as a group of employees, created the copyright-protected work, copyright protection is good for 95 years after publication or 120 years after the date of creation. The rules for calculating exactly how long the copyright protection should apply is complex, and you may benefit from a clear understanding of your rights as the creator. Infringement of a copyright can be grounds for legal action.

Understanding copyright law

If you are the creator of an original work, it is in your interests to take the appropriate legal steps that will allow you to secure and protect your work for decades to come. It may be helpful to discuss your concerns with an experienced professional who can help you understand your options, understand how to seek the full amount of legal protection you need and pursue recovery in the event of copyright infringement.