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Many have an idea that they can copyright. For instance, you've written a book, or drawn a pictures, or had someone create and design a logo for you. Surely you paid for services if you've hired a third party to assist you.

But do they have a legal right to your craft? Possibly. It's essential that before you began working on a project that you need assistance with and which involves intellectual property that must be protected through registration, you get a license to use or signed release.

Here are a few reasons why?

1. Having a legal agreement in place - a license to use or release - will ensure that you do not run afoul any copyright infringement laws. Furthermore, it helps to protect your interests by providing additional understanding around who owns what. If you present an agreement earlier into any business relationship, it will shed light on whether you want to move forward.

2. You will need proof of the agreement for registration. If someone indeed helped you to create intellectual property that you're using for copyright registration, the U.S. Copyright office will ask you for proof that the other party's rights have been released or transferred to you in some manner. Failure to produce that information may cause your application to be denied.

Consult with Counsel

Although copyright may seem simple to the untrained eye, there are many pitfalls that could cause you to lose money, time, and ultimately, rights to your intellectual property. It's imperative that you hire counsel to guide you through every step ensuring that you receive necessary protection.


This article is a service of SL DeBarros Law Firm, LLC. We offer a wide array of business legal services and can help you make the wisest business choices throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a Business Protection Start-Up Session or a Business Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Call us today to schedule.

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