Copyrights protect the specific expression embodied in original works of art or authorship. The owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies to the public, and to perform or display the work publicly. RatnerPrestia helps copyright owners protect these exclusive rights by preparing and filing applications to register copyrights, enforcing copyrights through litigation or other avenues of relief, and helping copyright owners profit from their creations via licenses and other arrangements. RatnerPrestia also regularly counsels its clients on the interplay of copyrights with other forms of intellectual property and recommends strategies for effective protection of all intellectual property rights for creative works. RatnerPrestia attorneys are actively involved as counsel for the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, a nonprofit legal services organization that provides free legal assistance and basic business counseling to area cultural organizations and individuals – fine artists, commercial artists, musicians, performance artists, and writers. Our attorneys provide lectures and seminars to educate clients, attorneys, and others on the subject of copyrights.

 Software Protection

 RatnerPrestia understands that source code is the lifeblood of a software company and that a copyright registration covering that code is often an important aspect of a well-rounded software protection strategy, complementing patent and/or trade secret protection and software licensing. RatnerPrestia is well-versed in copyright office procedures for filing copyright applications in a way that protects trade secrets while still fulfilling statutory requirements to provide a deposit copy of the code to be protected. RatnerPrestia also counsels clients regarding copyright ownership, including assessing whether software is a work made for hire and helping software companies structure employment and consulting agreements to ensure company ownership of important works. See the Practice Groups – Software section on the RatnerPrestia website regarding other aspects of software protection and counseling.

Internet Issues

Material appearing on the Internet is entitled to copyright protection. The ease with which images and text appearing on the Internet can be copied and used elsewhere creates many opportunities for copyright infringement. RatnerPrestia counsels clients regarding infringing activity on the Internet and helps its clients enforce their copyrights as well as avoid infringing the copyrights of others in cyberspace, including sending and responding to “take-down” letters under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Artistic Creations and Writings
including photographs, sculptures, graphic arts, and sound recordings

Unique photographs, graphics and advertising materials (such as ad copy or jingles) typify copyright-protectable works that may be important to a business as well as to the artist that created them. Copyrights in all works originate with their creators, who enjoy the exclusive right to reproduce their work. RatnerPrestia can assist artists and authors, those who hire artists and authors, and those who wish to license works created by artists and authors, to protect, enforce, and/or license rights in such works.