Q: Hi! I´m an illustrator and i wanted to know if it is necessary to trademark my name and copyright my work or is it not?
I have heard that the copyright is automatic when I create my work and I would be using my name but I wanted to know if it is necessary to trademark it and copyright my work to have any protection or if it is enough to creeate it and use the symbol on the work without paying. Thanks
A: By law, a Common Law copyright is created the moment you put your work into tangible form (i.e. once you create an actual work, beyond just the idea in your head). If you have a copyrighted work, you are authorized to sue for damages if someone uses that work without authorization, however with common law copyright, you must show actual damages in a lawsuit in order to actually get money, whereas, registering your copyrighted work with the US Copyright office entitles you to claim statutory damages per infringement, without the need to prove that you suffered actual monetary damages -- in other words, it's always a good idea to register your work with the Copyright office.
As for your symbol/logo, that's also advisable to register for trademark so you can create brand recognition and no one tries to pas their work off as yours.
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