How Long Does Copyright Protection Last?

Copyright law is meant to protect an individual’s artistic creations. This applies to things such as:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Literature
  • Images and film
  • Computer and Internet software

You can register a copyright yourself, or with the help of a Los Angeles copyright law attorney. A copyright prevents the unauthorized use of your creation in the United States. Copyright law also states how long the legal protection of a creation will last.

How Long does Copyright Protection Last?

Whether you have created something yourself, or by work-for-hire, your copyright should last throughout your lifetime, and many years beyond.

Work-for-hire refers to property created by an employee of a person or company, or work created by a person under contract, and which the contractor intends to own. A work-for-hire copyright will last 95 years from the date of publication, or 120 years from the date of its creation, whichever period is shorter.

Individual copyrights, which are not work-for-hire, will last throughout the creator’s lifetime, as well as for 70 years after the creator’s death. If it is a joint-work in which there are multiple creators, a copyright will last for 70 years after the death of the last surviving creator. Anonymous works can be copyrighted for 95 years from the date of publication, or 120 years from the creation, whichever period is shorter.

To determine which length pertains in your case you can contact a Los Angeles copyright law attorney.

Copyrights for Creations prior to 1978 Copyright law states that if a work was created before 1978, then the same standard guidelines apply. However, these works are subject to the additional guidelines that under no condition did the copyrights for these works expire before Dec. 31, 2002. Additionally, all works published on or before Dec. 31, 2002 will under all circumstances be protected by copyright law until at least Dec. 31, 2047.

Officially Obtaining your Copyright in Los Angeles

To officially obtain your copyright in Los Angeles, you can visit the United States Copyright Office website. The website has a simple form with which to officially register your creation. If you have difficulty registering, or need advice, you can get the expert help of a Los Angeles copyright law attorney. A Los Angeles copyright law attorney can also help you protect the rights to your intellectual property in the event someone is infringing upon your copyright.

The copyright law attorneys at ADLI Law Group serve clients across Los Angeles County and the U.S., as well as internationally in countries such as China, Taiwan and Japan.Contact us Contact ustoday for experienced help with securing or protecting your copyrights – 800-817-2949.