Copyright Attorneys


Copyright protects against copying of certain goods, such as artistic designs on clothing, computer programs, CDs, DVDs and other electronic media. Identification marks of copyrights are those on articles sold with the terms. A copyright infringement may occur where such goods are copied without the permission of the copyright owner.

At DeToffol & Gittleman, our Manhattan copyright attorneys help clients stop the making, selling and distribution of illegal copies of movies, music, software and more. We represent individuals and businesses who wish to protect their copyrighted goods, and will pursue litigation if necessary to protect them.

We stop and pursue copyright infringement actions for the following:

  • Illegal copying, distribution/import/export: Depending on the country you live in, these rights may be called copyrights, or related or neighboring rights. These are separate from any rights that may subsist in the music or the lyrics that are being recorded.
  • Forgery or making, adapting, or imitating objects, statistics or documents with the intent to deceive: The similar crime of fraud is the crime of deceiving another, including through the use of objects obtained through forgery. When we speak of forgery we usually refer to money, paintings or documentation such as IDs, diplomas or passports.
  • Bootlegging without the performers’ consent: Musical recordings that have not been officially released by the artist or their associated management or production companies. They may consist of demos, out takes or other studio material, or of illicit recordings of live performances.
  • Plagiarism: Involving the stealing of expressions from another author’s composition and making them appear to be his or her own work. It also includes the theft of another creator’s intellectual property. Plagiarism is based on the appropriation of any form of writing, music and visual images.


Copyright protection of your work here in the U.S. and in other countries is governed by the laws of the particular country in question. If a country has signed and ratified the Berne Treaty, then the principles of the treaty will be applied as well.

The Berne Convention is an international treaty that outlines the basic copyrights that all signatory nations will abide by. The Berne Convention covers 162 of the approximately 190 countries in the world, including most major nations. Countries which are signed up to the convention are compelled to offer the same protection to works created in other signatory nations as they would to works created in their own. For example, works by U.S. authors are protected by French copyright in France, and vice versa, because both the U.S. and France are signatories to Berne. Nations not signed up to the Berne Convention may have their own arrangements regarding copyright protection.

The main points of the Berne Convention are:

  • Works created in a foreign nation will be treated as if created domestically.
  • All artists have the exclusive right to authorize translations, reproduction, performance and adaptation of their works.
  • All artists have the right of integrity and attribution.

The terms of agreement as set out in the Berne Treaty state that copyright for all original creative works set in a fixed medium are automatic and the protection should last for a minimum of 50 years after the author’s death (excluding photographic and cinematographic works).

Under the Berne Treaty music and sound recordings are protected both nationally and internationally, through copyright and related-ights (or neighboring rights) laws in most countries, and a series of international treaties that ensure that creative people and companies are protected in countries other than their own.

Under Berne, an author’s rights are respected in another country as though the author were a national (citizen) of that country.

Some areas are not covered by these conventions, and in some cases, the standards of protection prescribed were thought inadequate. So the TRIPS agreement adds a significant number of new or higher standards.


For further information regarding the Berne Convention and other copyright protection laws, or to speak to a New York copyright lawyer about your legal need, please contact DeToffol & Gittleman.

Call (212) 962-2220 or send us an e-mail to schedule your initial consultation to learn how we can help protect your copyrighted materials. Our intellectual property law practice is located near the downtown Manhattan courts in the financial district of New York City.