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Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3424
Experience:  Experienced in intellectual property law
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Someone ( a previous employee) copyrighted with the US

Customer Question

Someone ( a previous employee) copyrighted with the US Copyright office , three collections of work . He added my name as a co author , but I was the sole author on many of those songs . He also added himself in the 'rights and permissions part' , which he does not own the rights to these songs . Do I need to file my own set of copyrights to combat this ?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 9 months ago.

hello.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hello ? is that your answer ?
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 9 months ago.

Filing a new application on the same material will cause confusion, so you want to contact the copyright office to try to correct the information, and if they are unable to do so then you can cancel the registration and file a new one with the correct info. To correct an error in a copyright registration, you can file with the Copy­right Office a "supplementary registration Form CA".

Expert:  Alex Reese replied 9 months ago.

Do you have your arrangement (e.g. who is the author, who own the copyright) in writing?...that would be good to have for the future in case a conflict arises or he claims otherwise.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
but I did not file the first work , someone else did fraudulently .. that is the issue . What do I do ? He copyrighted songs that have been released already that he did not write . I never filed an original copyright , so he went behind my back and did it and listed himself as a writer , when he was not .
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
no We do not . There is no arrangement ... can I file on the same works he has already filed and just name the authors differently or will that be rejected ?
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 9 months ago.

I see. Making false statements in a copyright application is illegal:

"False Representation. — Any person who knowingly makes a false representation of a material fact in the application for copyright registration provided for by section 409, or in any written statement filed in connection with the application, shall be fined not more than $2,500."

So you need to exert some pressure on the filer in order to get them to correct the situation....if you feel you cannot do anything on your own, I suggest having an attorney send them a letter demanding they take corrective action and cease to represent/claim they own the copyright or are authors etc....effectively a type of "cease a desist" letter that demand some action under the threat of a legal action / lawsuit

Expert:  Alex Reese replied 9 months ago.

A new filing "might" be rejected (depends on whether the previous one has been fully processed) and they catch the similarity....but you do not really have anything to lose by trying and its cheap so in this situation you should go ahead and do so.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you .. I appreciate the help .. I will try filing with the copyright and see what happens .
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 9 months ago.

you're welcome...that is definitely a good first step...and in the end if the ownership/rights ever come into question, I doubt they will oppose you as he knows you are the true author/owner

Expert:  Alex Reese replied 9 months ago.

if there is any evidence or record of your authorship, hold onto that in case you need it

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The recording was made in my studio , I have the lyrics written down . I have scratch pads of when the work was being created . But he left our band and then preceeded to copyright material that he did not own nor was he the writer on a few of the songs . He filed them under a group of works , so I guess I will have to file each song individually .The songs that I wrote solely , he should have no claim to , but he has them copyrighted as his .So this my be hard .
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 9 months ago.

that is good that you have those notes etc. yes, it may be hard, it's always take effort to correct such situations or enforce your rights...but hopefully it will never come to any serious conflict

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