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What to Know about Copyright Protection for Presentation Materials

by | Jul 29, 2021 | Copyrights, Intellectual Property

Presentations are given every day to a wide variety of audiences throughout the world.  Professional consultants provide presentations on leadership development, handling stress, how to improve sales techniques, financial investments, real estate sales, and insurance as an investment — just to name a few.

If the materials in these presentations and the handouts distributed to the audience are original works, the creators of presentations should submit copyright applications to obtain copyright registrations for those original works.

Understanding the Process to Register Your Presentation Materials and Your Rights

The copyright application should be submitted within 90 days of the first publication to preserve the maximum rights under the US Copyright Act. Those rights include pursuing statutory damages in a case of copyright infringement at $750-$30,000 per violation, and up to $150,000 per willful violation. If the application is not submitted within 90 days of first publication, then the holder of the copyright can only pursue actual damages in a copyright infringement case.

A copyright registration gives the holder of the copyright the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, modify, and publicly display or perform a work. So, the consultants who develop original works and share them with audiences on a regular basis should invest in obtaining copyright registrations for maximum protection from those who commit copyright infringement.

Benefits to Registering Your Work With the Copyright Office

Original works are considered more valuable if a copyright registration has been obtained from the US Copyright Office. This is especially evident when a company is sold and can show that it owns the copyright registrations for the materials that have been developed over time.  

Another important fact to consider in the U.S. is that the owner of an original work cannot file a claim for copyright infringement in federal courts unless they hold a copyright registration from the US Copyright Office. Since it can take as long as eight months to obtain a copyright registration — starting from the date you file the copyright application — it is very wise to file the copyright application within the first 90 days of publication. 

If you are the owner of a business that has developed original materials used in presentations and need help with copyright issues, take the time to talk with a copyright lawyer and make sure you are obtaining maximum protections for your original works.


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