Copyright & Creative Rights: Protect Your Work and Avoid a Lawsuit

Information for Potential Clients

Let Us Help You Navigate the Law

How Can We Help?

Our clinic helps artists, musicians, authors, photographers, filmmakers, designers and other creative entrepreneurs understand and protect legal rights in their works. We also help identify and address legal responsibilities when using works involving or created by other people. We can provide general consultations, contract review and drafting, help with content clearance, and assistance preparing and filing applications for copyright registration.

Examples of specific services include:
  • Counseling on whether a given work is copyrightable
  • Counseling on “fair use”
  • Copyright registration
  • License and permission agreements
  • Transfer and assignment agreements
  • Work-made-for-hire agreements
  • Independent contractor agreements
  • Publicity rights releases

Am I eligible for ​clinic assistance?

Texas residents with limited financial resources in need of legal counsel related to copyrights and publicity rights are encouraged to apply. The clinic generally defines limited financial resources as annual gross income from all sources amounting to less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level. You can access a table showing the current dollar amounts here.

Once the financial guidelines above are met, clients are selected based on a variety of factors, including financial need, educational value to the law students, potential for positive impact in the community, and timing. Although our legal services are provided at no charge, clients are responsible for certain fees and other costs that may be necessary. For example, clients are responsible for the fees payable to the United States Copyright Office for all filings made with that office in connection with an application for copyright registration, and any extended search fees charged by third-party search companies that a client may deem necessary. All such fees will be paid directly to the United States Copyright Office or third-party search provider by the client.

When is help available?

The clinic operates from January – April (spring) and August – November (fall), corresponding with the semesters in our academic calendar. While many matters can be handled in a single semester, the academic calendar means there will be delays between periods of work for matters that take longer than a single semester to complete, and those delays can range from five weeks (in the winter) to three months (in the summer).

Please also note that we currently have a waitlist for our services, but welcome applications nonetheless and will be in contact when we have a view toward assisting you. If your matter requires urgent or ongoing attention without delays, we suggest you contact another legal services provider.

Who works on my case?

Our services are provided by law students working under the supervision of experienced attorneys. However, as copyright applications take more than one semester to prepare, file, and see through the United States Copyright Office procedures, it is likely that different students (and perhaps a different supervising attorney) may take over from one semester to the next.

How do I apply?

​To apply, please complete a Request for Legal Services Form​ and submit it online. Our clinic does not accept client applications in person or over the phone.

The clinic is unable to assist with the following:

  • Administrative proceedings
  • Litigation of any kind
  • Fundraising or financing to develop your idea (e.g., venture capital)
  • Foreign copyright applications or registrations

Looking for branding and trademark services?

Please visit our trademark services webpage.

Looking for patent services?

Please visit our patent services webpage.