To copyright a certain piece of work means to protect it from being reproduced or altered without the permission of the owner. There is a common misconception that the ownership authority is not attained unless the work is registered with an official organization such as the US Copyright Office (USCO) at the Library of Congress at Washington DC. The phrase “I copyrighted my novel with the Copyright Office” is extremely common but the myth can only be dealt with by entertainment attorneys.
An idea is copyrighted as soon as it is converted into a tangible form- a story written on paper by pen or saved in the computer hard disk, automatically acquires copyright protection. It’s not the act of filing one’s work with the copyright office that authorizes the owner a right over his creativity. Any kind of work in art, literature, music, drama or design, recorded or written is proof enough for copyright protection. The idea of a new song, sung or discussed has no protection rights but the minute it is written or recorded, it attains a tangible form and is copyrighted automatically. Registering a copyright has certain advantages but it is not a prerequisite to protection.
If a piracy or copyright infringement occurs, a registered copyright of the product is preferred. It helps in a quicker, easier decision at the court. The process is carried out by the entertainment attorney who suggests the best time for registration and personally undergoes the whole procedure for a registered copyright. On the contrary, if each individual had been allowed to appear in the Copyright Office for this purpose, there would be so much chaos and mismanagement without any favorable results. Therefore, attorneys are rather preferred to represent the owner seeking copyright.
A registered copyright is like an announcement of a possession to the world at large. If a designer wishes to name his studio and searches for the existing names, he will only find those which are registered. Other names that are not registered might be replicated and if this happens, it will not be a deliberate act but still plagiarism.
Whether an author registers his work after days or months, if it is in a tangible form, the date and place can be extracted from the data and registration brought about. The only reason attorneys suggest speeding up the registration is for any unforeseen infringement litigation in the federal court.