Noah Webster, the inspiration behind the popular Merriam-Webster Dictionary today, was the driving force behind the first U.S. copyright law passed in 1790. The Copyright Act of 1790 protected books, charts, maps, and other original materials.
Today, the breadth of copyright protection is wide. Ranging from bronze sculptures to books, from movies to architectural drawings, and from music to computer software, copyright protection contains plenty of nuances that can complicate the valuation process. One of the complications is the ease with which infringers can copy a copyrighted item. Nowadays, technology presents many challenges to the copyright owner. The easier it is for an infringer to duplicate the copyrighted work without getting caught, the greater the potential for value impairment of the copyright.
At Pellegrino & Associates, we dig deep to understand your copyright so that it can be valuated with precision. We ask pertinent questions that pinpoint the nuances that affect value. What attributes contribute to the copyright? What rights does your copyright entail? Do you have the right to sell the work, make copies, display the work, or make derivative works? Are all administrative issues addressed? We consider historic and prospective data to determine economic life. We spend time assessing the risk for future economic income attributable to the copyright and general market conditions.
Perhaps the biggest complication is the confusion of what copyright law includes. It does not include concepts, discoveries, ideas, methods of operations, principles, procedures, processes, or systems. It protects the expression of the item, but not the item itself, which patents and trade secrets usually protect. We work with our clients so they have a clear understanding of what their copyrights actually protect. So, if you’ve recently written a book, created a new source code, or produced the Grammy song of the year, Pellegrino & Associates can tell you how much your copyright is worth.
Interested in learning more? Contact us to see how we can help.