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Copyright Law

Copyright Attorneys in Long Island, NY

You are an artist of sorts. You exerted your talents to craft something hyper innovative. Someone has decided they can use your work as their own. Whether it was a song, painting, photograph, work of art, play or article, when you see part or all of your work elsewhere, your name is nowhere to be found. You created a work of art, such as a painting, a photograph, an article, a book, a song or a play. Later, you found all or part of your creation used elsewhere, without your permission, without your name attached at all. The Rubinstein Law Firm has been involved in over 1000 copyrights. We apply that know-how to aggressively chase infringers or protect alleged infringers. We put that experience to address infringement of non-registered and registered copyrights. If you like winning, you have come to the right place.

Licensing and Royalties

Copyright license agreements are from the most common licenses in many forms of creative work especially in the software industry. If you hold a copyright or hope to, you may need to form a licensing agreement to transfer such rights. With a licensing agreement, you elect the portion of your rights you wish to transfer. We can help you draft an agreement that protects your rights and meets other important requirements for you. Such agreements should be developed with a targeted legal strategy, including:

  • Limitations of license
  • Details of payment of royalties
  • Rights and obligations of copyright owner and licensee
  • Complete description of the work
  • Grant of license detailing rights being transferred

For software, user must click “agree” prior to installation and the licensee owns the right to produce a limited number of copies (reproductions) for instance, to install on one or more computers. Another instance is a publishing agreement where an author grants a license to distribute and market a manuscript to a publisher. In any such example, the copyright owner transfers only a part of a right—and retains the remainder. A well-crafted agreement is crucial to both licensors and licensees in such situations to avoid potential miscommunication and future litigation. These clauses must be extremely precise. We have extensive experience developing contracts that convey copyrights while protecting our clients.

How We Win the Case

First, we analyze the infringement. If the work-in-question is substantially similar to your original, we must evidence that the alleged infringer could access your work of art to copy. Next, prove damages. We need to understand the extent of the infringer’s profit, so we can win back the fullest extent of damages. You might be entitled to enhanced damages and even attorneys fees, if your copyright is infringed. Some issues to be aware of:

  1. It may be challenging to find your infringer.
  2. Did you create the work while working for someone else whether as a contractor or employee?

A deep dive may be required to understand who is responsible.

One of the reasons our firm is so popular, is we always know how to get to the bottom of this.


  • What is copyright?
    • Copyright law gives the copyright holder (often the author or publisher) the right to control certain uses of works that are protected by copyright. It also gives users the right to make certain uses of those works without permission.
  • How long does copyright last?
    • For works published after 1977, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. However, if the work is a work for hire (that is, the work is done in the course of employment or has been specifically commissioned) or is published anonymously or under a pseudonym, the copyright lasts between 95 and 120 years, depending on the date the work is published.All works published in the United States before 1924 are in the public domain. Works published after 1923, but before 1978 are protected for 95 years from the date of publication. If the work was created, but not published, before 1978, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. However, even if the author died over 70 years ago, the copyright in an unpublished work lasted until December 31, 2002. And if such a work was published before December 31, 2002, the copyright will last until December 31, 2047.
  • What is public domain?
    • The Public Domain is a body of intellectual material which is not under copyright and may be used freely without permission. This includes:
      • Works which the owner explicitly moved into the public domain,
      • Works where the copyright has expired (this includes all works published before 1923),
      • Works where the copyright lapsed due to failure comply with necessary formalities such as renewal and notice (applies only to works published before March 1, 1978), and

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