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Redlands Entertainment Lawyer Shares 5 Creations That Copyright Law Does Not Protect

Posted by Eric D. Anderson | Sep 27, 2019

Navigating copyright law correctly is critical if you want to protect your creative works, but doing so is often complicated and rarely straightforward. For example, copyright law automatically protects an author's written work from the first draft; however, an artist must register certain finished works before copyright law will protect them from infringement.

Copyright Law

Misunderstanding copyright law could prove costly, as LeBron James' tattoo artist learned the hard way. According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBA videogame creators designed James' character with such close attention to detail that his tattoo artist tried to sue them for copyright infringement; however, because he did not register his custom designs early enough, he was unsuccessful.

If you want to protect your intellectual property and any potential profits that stem from it, turn to Eric D. Anderson Law, LTD. A Redlands entertainment lawyer from our firm will help with everything from media rights to contract negotiations.

Call 909-283-5494 today to speak with a commercial attorney, and read on to learn five creations that copyright law does not protect:

  1. Ideas

Ideas might be the foundation of intellectual property, but you cannot copyright them. According to the United States Copyright Office, you cannot make a claim to methods, systems or procedures. This includes business operations, mathematical principles and any operational processes.

2. Factual Information with No Known Authorship

You cannot copyright commonly known, factual information such as standard calendars, telephone directories, tape measures, height and weight charts, or lists and tables that are from public documents. Copyright law will not protect factual phrases that have no known authorship such as “the grass is green,” either.

3. Choreography

Copyright law does not protect choreography unless the creator has recorded or notated it. This also applies to speeches that the orator did not transcribe before or after delivering them, as well as to other kinds of performance art.

4. Short Phrases, Expressions, Titles and Names

Though you cannot copyright a catchy slogan or product description, you can protect either with a trademark if it applies to your company. Recipes, formulas, prescriptions, and compounds also fall in the unprotected category, but there are some exceptions, depending on how the creator actually compiles and presents the work.

For example, an entire cookbook may be subject to copyright law, but each recipe's list of ingredients is not. 

5. Fashion

Designers cannot copyright a particular item of clothing, but they can copyright a specific pattern such as Burberry plaid. Designers who want to protect their own unique designs have to patent them, instead.

Regardless of the medium you work with, copyright law is complicated, and there are some pitfalls that could result in a significant loss of income down the road. If you need an entertainment lawyer to help you protect your intellectual property, contact the attorneys at Eric D. Anderson Law, LTD.

Without reviewing all contracts closely, you could be signing away your right to potential revenue streams. Call 909-283-5494 to speak with a commercial attorney.

About the Author

Eric D. Anderson

Eric Anderson: Civil Trial lawyer, Criminal Defense Lawyer, Sin Lawyer

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