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There is a lot of confusion by the general public as to not only what "copyrights" and "trademarks" are - but why they may or may not be necessary. We will do our best to put any questions you may have to rest.
First and foremost - both copyrights and trademarks are not a vehicle to stop anyone from pirating your materials. But - and here is the catch - if you have registered your materials with the U.S. Copyright Office, and if you have deemed it necessary, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, then, if someone, or some organization, uses your materials without prior permission from you; then you have a legal standpoint to pursue them for infringing your rights and possibly loss of income.
If, however, you have chosen NOT to register your materials with the U.S. Copyright Office or the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office - and simply post the copyright symbol "©" and, or the trademark symbol "™" - keep in mind that anyone can do a simple search on both of those official websites, see that you have not registered your materials - and then they can register your materials as their own. Just posting either, or both, of those symbols will not protect you. Further, if someone registers your materials that have not been registered - and see that you have published or posted those same materials - once they have registered those materials, they, in turn, can pursue you for infringement of their rights.
Also, the copyright and trademark offices do NOT read your materials. They simply "register" them as "yours." Further, no one can log onto the copyright and trademark office websites and download anything. Why? Because neither website keeps the files on-line. They are stored in the Library of Congress warehouse which is located in several physical locations. So your registrations are safe, secure - and owned by you.
Co-founders Paula T. Webb and Mark Douglas have over 150 copyrights and trademarks to their credit. This has protected their materials in numerous cases with "cyber villains" who posted their books - because once the website host provider was made aware of the copyright and/or trademark infringement, the offending piracy was removed. How was this accomplished? Simple. A formal notice was sent to the website host provider - with the copyright/trademark registration numbers - which proved they were the lawful owners of the pirated materials. And by having those registration numbers, the pirated materials were removed from the illegally posted links.
Please note - piracy in all forms is THEFT - plain and simple, and no joke. It is real, and will happen if you are not protected. Copyright registrations are a minimal fee - is that small amount not worth protecting your materials that you worked hard to create?
If you still have questions, please contact our office - we want to see you succeed!