Copyrights - Lucas & Mercanti, LLP


The Copyright and Patent Clause of the United States Constitution gives Congress the power, "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." Copyright protection extends to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, musical, dramatic, audiovisual, pictorial, sculptural, architectural and certain other artistic and intellectual works. Software programs are also entitled to copyright protection.

Copyright law is complex, so retaining experienced counsel is crucial. We have a long tradition representing creatives in a wide variety of artistic endeavors and in all aspects of copyright law and offer comprehensive services that include:

  • Preparing U.S. and international copyright applications
  • Rendering opinions on issues concerning copyright infringement, fair use, foreign protection, and ownership
  • Preparing and negotiating publishing, assignment, and licensing agreements
  • Preparing work-for-hire agreements specifically tailored to your industry and situation
  • Crafting cease and desist letters with the goal of avoiding further conflict
  • Filing and defending copyright infringement actions if a dispute cannot be avoided

Our collective experience allows us to navigate the murky legal issues concerning copyright duration, infringement, authorship, ownership, work-for-hire, fair use, and damages, which are controlled by decades of precedent and court interpretations. Moreover, we are experienced with matters involving the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (“VARA”) which further protects the “moral rights” of some visual artists giving them certain rights over their work even if they no longer own the work.