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Old August 16th, 2006 -   #10 (permalink)
Rodney
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Default Re: copyright vs. trademark for company name

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OK, I understand, but then what exactly does the unregistered copyright do? Does it allow you to at least STOP someone from stealing your work, even if you can't get damages?
That's the catch22 (as I see it). Technically, a work is copyrighted to the creator at the time of its creation.

You really can't "stop" someone from the "act" of stealing your work. There are no "prevention" methods. Even a registered copyright or trademark can be stolen (and are stolen all the time).

Sure a copyright or trademark notice on a design will deter some people. But others may not care about that little notice or may be ignorant of what the rules are for using stuff they find.

The trick comes in getting them to stop using your copyrighted or trademarked work AFTER the fact.

If you just have a non-registered copyright, you have to figure out some way to prove that you created the work first. That way you can prove that you are the originator of the work and the copied work is indeed a copy.

The best way to do that is by registering the work with the copyright office (or in the case of trademarks, the trademark office). Then you have registered proof of the creation date and the copyright owner.

That will hold up much better when you contact the other party (or their host, or their printing company) to get them to stop using your work. If they don't stop, then that registered work will help you get damages in court.

Again, I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV
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