As Congress prepares for another battle over copyright law, D.C. policy wonks seeking guidance need look no further than the way the local restaurant scene has developed. Though there are clear differences, the district's eating places offer some valuable insights into the intersection of intellectual property and creativity.
So many people get caught up in the fact that "you don't have to register the copyrights to your work because it's copyrighted the moment you create it." However, if you want real protection and legal hold when it comes to your work being stolen (copyright infringement), it's worth the few minutes and few dollars to register it.
For a century, Peter Baldwin, a professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles and at New York University, points out, the United States, far more than its counterparts in Europe, had balanced encouraging authorial creativity (and appropriate remuneration) against enhancing the public good through the diffusion of knowledge.
The first successful application for a sound mark was registered in 1978 and was filed by NBC. Thirty-five years out, it is still a notoriously long and difficult process. So when I'm asked by another business owner if they can trademark a sound, I always have to give a "yes, but..." answer for the following reasons.