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Copyright registration is not mandatory to obtain rights in the United States, consistent with the rest of the world, under the Berne Convention. The owner of a work is entitled to mark the work “© [owner] [date]” to provide notice of ownership, regardless of registration status. A federal copyright registration is only required to enforce rights in U.S. courts. So why register early? U.S. law contains some valuable incentives to encourage copyright registration. An owner who timely registers is eligible to recover statutory damages (if desired) and attorney fees, in addition to obtaining an injunction. A copyright owner who registers more than three months after publication and after infringement commences, can still seek an injunction, but monetary recovery is limited to actual damages.
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By Stan Soocher
Composers of pre-1978 works often assigned both the initial and renewal copyright terms in their works when signing songwriter agreements with music publishers. But what happens when a grant of the copyright renewal term of a pre-1978 work has been made post-1977?
By Bruce Love
With a significant amount of NFT activity arising from the entertainment and sports industries comes an inevitable need for legal services. But taking advantage of this economic growth is no simple matter for entertainment, media and sports lawyers. It requires an understanding not just of NFT transactions, but also of data security, intellectual property, public policy, and a whole raft of regulatory and compliance issues.
By Ben Thompson and Robert Moorman
There are frequent battles over trademark rights in the entertainment industry. Trademark publication can be an anxious part of the federal application process, with fear of aggressive opposition and costly proceedings looming in the background. But many trademark oppositions, whether they are only threatened or actually filed, afford the applicant a discussion with an opposer that can ultimately be helpful in nonobvious ways.
By ELF Staff
Notable court filings in entertainment law.