|Have the nattering nabobs |
of negativism got ahold
of one of our readers?
Being first is overrated. We recently saw an ad for a casino that said "Understated is overrated." That was depressing but the truth is that in intellectual property, being first is really overrated. For example, it rarely matters in patent law because the U.S. has joined the rest of the world with its first-to-file system (and ditched the first-to-invent requirement). And being first is rarely an issue in copyright law, too. Like the quote goes, "if by some magic a man who had never known it were to compose anew Keats’s Ode on a Grecian Urn, he would [acquire copyright]." In other words, copyright protects independent creation, not being first. Timing only matters if, for example, you were an unknown songwriter claiming Britney Spears stole your song and her lawyers argued she couldn't have copied your song because your song didn't exist at the time she wrote hers.
Copyright registration? As you probably know, copyright protection is automatic. Registration before infringement helps determine how much you will recover (and ultimately is required for filing a lawsuit). But you should be able to maintain reasonable copyright protection without doing anything. How existential is that?