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NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT AND TRADEMARK
All SEMINAR DIRECT products, including, but not limited to, invitation designs, seminar presentations, lead generation, custom mailings, data, marketing information, images, concepts and other information are copyrighted and protected under TITLE 17 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE. Any use or duplication in any form is strictly prohibited.
SEMINAR DIRECT reserves ownership on all artwork, designs, graphics, copy, wording, and layout of any product created and/or produced, unless transferred to client through written agreement prior to usage. Use by clients is granted under a limited license and onwership of all artwork is retained and reserved by Seminar Direct. We intend to prosecute any violation of copyright law or infringement on intellectual property rights to the fullest extent allowed by law.
Copyright Act of 1976
Pursuant to the 1976 Act, all works created after January 1, 1978 are afforded a term of statutory copyright beginning at the work's creation and enduring for the life of the author plus fifty years after his death. 17 U.S.C. ?302(a). The 1976 Act further provides that a work is "created" so as to begin the term of statutory copyright when it is fixed in tangible form under the authority of the author for the first time, regardless of whether the work is registered with the Copyright Office. 17 U.S.C. ? 101. The basic term of the author plus fifty years is equally applicable to unpublished and published works. A work made for hire, if created on or after January 1, 1978, is afforded a term of 75 years from the date of first publication or a term of 100 years from its creation, whichever expires first. 17 U.S.C. ? 302(c). In such a case, the employer for whom the work was prepared is deemed the author. 17 U.S.C. ? 201(b).
Works created prior to January 1, 1978
On January 1, 1978, when the 1976 Act became effective, common law copyright as to nearly all works terminated by reason of federal pre-emption. Prior to that date, common law copyright existed in a work from the moment of creation and continued until the work was published or registered with the Copyright Office as an unpublished work - at which point the work obtained statutory copyright.
All works which obtained statutory copyright prior to January 1, 1978 (and which did not lapse into the public domain through expiration of its term of copyright) were protected for an initial copyright term of 28 years commencing upon the date that statutory copyright was originally secured. Under the Copyright Act of 1909, such works were entitled to a renewal term of an additional 28 years if an application for renewal registration was submitted to the Copyright Office within one year prior to the expiration of the original term. 17 U.S.C. ? 24 (1909 Act). The 1976 Act extended the renewal term (but not the first term) by an additional 19 years so that the renewal term is now 47 years rather than 28 years.
A work, which, as of January 1, had already begun its renewal term thus, became entitled to an additional 19 years of protection or a total of 75 years from the time the first term copyright was secured. This renewal period is applicable only to works that were protected by statutory copyright prior to January 1, 1978 and had not entered into public domain due to the expiration of the initial term without submission of a renewal registration to the Copyright Office.
The Berne Copyright Convention
The Berne Convention was established in 1886, and is the world's oldest international copyright treaty. The United States did not become a member until March 1, 1989, although it had been part of the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) since 1954. The Berne Convention's copyright treaty has been signed by 96 countries, and all the member nations are required to provide the same copyright protection to all nationals in all the member nations. This treaty is much broader in scope and offers far more protection than the UCC.
The United States Congress amended the Copyright Act in order to comply with the terms of the Berne Convention. It was no longer necessary to register a work with the U.S. Copyright Office in order to receive protection from infringement.
Creators from other member nations can initiate litigation in the U.S. without having registered the work. However, U.S. creators must attempt registration before commencing litigation. There is an incentive for U.S. creators to register, which is that Congress doubled the level of statutory damages which the copyright owner may recover for registered works. The creator does not need to prove that the violator made profits or that economic injury was caused to the creator. Statutory damages were increased from $50,000 to $100,000. In most cases, U.S. plaintiffs will not be awarded these damages or attorney's fees unless the work was registered before the infringement was committed.
The Berne Convention has eliminated the requirement that a published work contain a copyright notice. This is true for any work that is created in any of the member nations. It is still a good idea to include this notice, because then a violator cannot claim innocent infringement.