Our copyright lawyers are experienced in all types of copyright work, from the highly technical, involving computer-related and internet technologies, to works of artistic copyright. Our expertise also includes advising in relation to database rights.
We don’t just advise on the law, we try to improve it. We have worked with government agencies in several countries to lobby for changes to the copyright laws.
Registering and managing copyright
Ensuring that your copyright portfolio is well managed is an important part of your IP protection strategy
Unlike most other IP rights, copyright usually subsists automatically without the need for registration. In some jurisdictions, however, you can register copyright and it will often be advisable to do so. If you don’t register, and your copyright is infringed, proving your claim may be difficult.
In the past, a popular, but misguided, attempt to prove the date of creation and authorship of a work, was for the author to post a copy of the work to himself. This did not, however, constitute strong evidence as it would be easy to open and replace the contents of the envelope, or simply to steal it at a later date. The advantage of copyright registration, in jurisdictions that provide for it, is that the owner of the registered work is not obliged to prove ownership in the event of a dispute. As copyright disputes often boil down to a dispute over authorship and date of creation, this can be invaluable.
We regularly advise on all forms of copyright infringement, including streaming and website abuse and computer software infringement and have developed creative ways of obtaining evidence of licence abuse and end-user piracy. This enables our clients to make informed commercial decisions in relation to their enforcement strategy. We have frequently been able to rely on copyright as an alternative in infringement cases where other claims, e.g. a claim of unfair competition, were not sufficiently strong.
We have also managed a series of anti-piracy projects for copyright owners, including publishing industry associations (both books and other print media and online such as journals), software companies (in relation to end-user piracy and license abuse), and companies in the music and film industries.
Commercialising your copyright
There are many opportunities for commercialisation of your copyright, whether by way of licensing programmes, sale or acquisition.
Copyright owners have the right to decide how their work is used. They may decide to exploit the work directly or to grant licences, either exclusive or non-exclusive. They may enter into joint ventures or other forms of co-operative arrangement. And, as with other forms of IP, the copyright itself can also be assigned. Our team can assist with valuations and all forms of copyright exploitation, helping ensure that you receive an appropriate economic reward.