Copyright Infringement Basics Copyright infringement is when copyrighted material is reproduced, distributed, or performed without the permission of its owner.
What Does Copyright Infringement Mean?
Copyright infringement happens when copyright holders do not permit reproductions, distributions, public displays, or derivative works of others’ original works of art. In such a case, the orchestra would violate the composer’s copyright. YouTube or any other website that displays a complete episode of a T.V. show infringes its creators’ copyright.
Copy right infringement falls under federal tort law. It is, therefore, a civil cause-of-action that can be resolved in court. To prove copy right infringement, either the plaintiff or copyright owner must show the following:
- Registering your work with U.S. Copyright Office is the easiest way to prove ownership.
- It is possible to prove that the defendant had direct access to the original works and that the copied work is either a duplicate or substantially comparable. Substantially similar means:
- They share the same central theme. The Broadway plays Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story share the story of star-crossed lovers whose deaths are their own.
- Copy or reproduce the work. Create a new piece of work from the original.
- To sell or give up the work or a copy thereof for the first and only time. Once the author does this, the rights to sell or give it away are transferred to the new owners. After a copyright owner has sold or given away the work or any copy thereof, the purchaser/recipient can do with her possessions as she pleases.
Copyright Infringement Examples
Copy right infringement can be caused by the reproduction, distribution, public display, or creation of a derivative work based on a copyrighted work. It can also be done by illegally reproducing protected works. Another example is the creation of fan fiction, which is essentially a derivative work without the author’s permission.
Copyright Infringement Attorney can be defined as the act of reproducing, distributing, publicly displaying, or making a derivative work using a copyright-protected piece of art. Each of the different types of violation comes with its definitions.
Copyright protection is granted to creators who have created original works of art with the exclusive right to make copies or reproductions of those works. Plagiarism or copying the work of others is a copyright violation. Plagiarism also includes copying whole pieces of work (e.g., a novel, a drawing, or an entire poem) and parts of a work (e.g., a song’s chorus, a stanza, or a section from poetry).
Copyright protection grants creators’ exclusive rights to distribute and sell their works. This means sellers cannot distribute works they don’t own or have licensed. Without permission, museums cannot sell copies or reproductions of artworks by artists.
Copyright holders own the exclusive right to make their work available publicly. This means that work may be displayed publicly without permission. Disney sued a California elementary school after it showed The Lion King on its school’s lawn and sold tickets to the screening.
How Can You Prevent Copyright Infringement?
There are three ways to avoid copyright violation. It would be best if you licensed the work. You must obtain permission from the owner of the copyright and pay fees. Second, if you’re new work falls. This means they can be used to comment, critique, parody, or educate as long as their use is limited and transformative. Third, work not available for licensing is better than work in the public domain. This is because it is free and readily accessible to everyone.
What Defenses Exist Against Copyright Infringement?
Fair use is the right to use the copyrighted material as you wish, even if the owner does not consent. Judges will consider the following when deciding whether or not a copier’s actions are fair.
1. The purpose of the copying (certain types may be allowed).
2. The nature and origin of the original (originals made to be copied less protected than those purely artistic).
3. The extent and substantiality of what was copied. One may not copy the heart of a piece without permission.
4. The potential impact of such copying on the market for originals (copying may only be allowed if it is unlikely the original author will suffer economic harm).
Fair use could excuse the following activities: giving out copies of an article in class, providing a quotation within a book critique, and imitating work for parody or social comment.
What Is the Penalty For Copyright Infringement?
They’re steep. These damages can be claimed by the copyright owner and, sometimes, the person who made them. A copyright owner could sue for damages of up to $30,000 per copy and $150,000 if it were willful.
How Does Copyright Infringement Work?
In many copies right infringement lawsuits, it is critical to show that the misappropriated works were substantially similar to the original. You don’t need to prove that it is identical to the original work. However, you must show that the average person would be able to identify the similarities. One example is when two songs have the same lyrics but different chord progressions, meters, and other components that make listeners think back to the first-released one. An experienced copyright lawyer will be able to explain how to prove substantial similarity. Substantial similarity can only be determined case by case.
Infringement actions often begin with sending a cease-and-desist letter to the infringer. The letter informs them that you believe they have violated your copyright and ask for an end to infringing activities. The letter does not have the right to be offensive, but an aggressive copyright attorney must send it. If necessary, this will let them know you are prepared and willing to take the matter further and file a suit.
In many cases, a cease & desist letter is the first sign that the infringer committed a crime. They may not have an understanding of copyright protections or recognize that their work is too similar to yours. To avoid any future trouble, they may stop the infringement immediately. The letter can be used as evidence if they refuse or delay. The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian Attorney may be the next step.