Changes to copyright law to know about for 2019

As a writer, musician, photographer or the owner of some other type of works, New York residents need to take steps to protect their intellectual property. Copyright law provides an avenue to do just that. Some important changes have taken place in these laws recently, and knowing what they are could prevent unnecessary issues.

For example, in the beginning of 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that could complicate any potential copyright infringement cases New York residents want to file. In order to file a lawsuit, it is now necessary to receive a registration. It is no longer enough just to file an application.

Some works that used to have copyright protection also came into the public domain this year. This is said to be the first time this has happened since 1998. Works beginning in 1923 fall into this category. This could open up a new source of material for some current artists.

A law passed in Oct. 2018 does not go into effect until 2021, but some individuals may need to prepare for what the Music Modernization Act will do. Digital music providers such as Pandora, Spotify and others will pay royalties into a new music licensing collective. Owners of the works will then receive compensation through that collective. The good news for many is that this will include pre-1972 recordings.

Whether a copyright law is now in effect or will be in the near future, understanding how it applies to a particular situation improves the ability to protect works that fall under these law. As these new laws are applied to real world scenarios, the legal community will also better understand how to best represent their clients. Anyone with intellectual property already knows the challenges this area of law can create, so keeping abreast of how to best protect these works remains a priority.

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