It is important to consult a copyright solicitor for two broad reasons. First, if you create original works, then it understandable that, for financial reasons and simply to be recognised as the genuine creator of specific pieces, you will want to protect your enterprises. Your field may be art, photography, writing, designing, music, or any other sphere in which the uniqueness of your creative works are key to the way you make money and are recognised in your field. Second, you may desire to use or publish the original work of someone else, requiring that you legitimately and legally go about the process of getting permission for this. Consequently, a lawyer can help you from the complex legal minefield involved in either registering or using original work.
More specifically, it is important to recognise that you, as the creator of original materials, have legal rights in regard to your enterprises to ensure that they are not copied or unfairly used. Thus a copyright solicitor can help you determine exactly what these rights are. Consideration of whether you qualify in your domestic country, how you can go about using the copyright symbol on your products or works, and how you can deal with issues of international protection are all important. A copyright lawyer can help you understand the division between the public and private domain and outline how your product may be used: when permission and licenses are required, or where the rules of ‘fair use’ apply.
The process of securing copyright is one that can be complex. Although you are not required to take legal advice when you go about making your application for protection, and it is indeed cheaper not to, it may still be advisable to consult a specialist copyright lawyer when you undertake to secure copyright on your work. A lawyer can assess your application, ensuring it is comprehensive and avoids loopholes through which your works might be exploited.
So what if things go wrong, and having established protection an individual or organisation infringes the rights given to you through securing copyright status? The work of a copyright solicitor might act as an effective form of deterrence to those who infringe your rights. A solicitor’s letter requesting the immediate cessation of copyright infringement may be enough to prevent infringers persisting in denying you your legal rights.
A lawyer may also take more advanced steps. Negotiation with infringers, and indeed with potential infringers, by securing legally binding licenses and permissions contracts, can ensure your legal rights are upheld. Moreover, in the form of royalties and payments, it may ensure you are adequately compensated for the use of your original works by another party. Hiring a copyright lawyer for these purposes may be expensive, but these costs may be offset by the revenue your creativity would bring in. Finally, the ultimate step: taking legal action in court to ensure your rights are enforced and—potentially—that those who deny you such rights are penalised appropriately.