Copyright infringement is an interesting subject because many businesses often face such issues at least once in their lifetime. As a new business owner, you must have heard this term and have wondered what it means.
Everything You Should Know About Copyright Infringement
Guess what? We have created an in-depth article about copyright infringement to help you understand what it is and how to get around it.
So grab a cup of coffee and read this article till the end.
Getting to Know Copyright Infringement
An infringement of copyright happens when someone uses a person’s creative work without crediting them or seeking prior permission.
Copyright protects the idea in its final form, as long as it is recorded. Note that copyright is automatically created when creative work has been “affixed.” However, you cannot enforce copyright on an idea.
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For example, you may have an idea for a website. You need to affix your website, in this case, to claim copyright over your work. Meaning, you can’t protect the idea for this website unless you make a website plan and copy it.
Moreover, having a domain and hosting registering records and the hosting servers pointing to your domain may also prove that you own the website and its content.
However, if you have infringed copyright by any chance, it usually means that you have not appropriately observed these rights.
Steps to Take to Deal With Copyright Infringement
So, you might have (intentionally or unintentionally) copied someone else’s creative work and have received a copyright and trademark infringement notice. Here’s what you can do:
Try Not to Panic
A legal letter can only be as meaningful as its arguments. So, do not panic. Moreover, the notice may also ask you to do something that you are not legally liable for.
It is usually a good idea for you to stop any alleged infringing activities. This will reduce any liability you might have for the infringement, even if the claim is valid.
Don’t Talk to the Claimant
You may be presented with a not substantiated claim and to which you are not required to respond. So, unless you are positive of your legal position, kindly do not respond to the claimant. Remember, you can be held liable for anything you say or do.
Be clear of the deadlines in the letter and the solicitor from whom the letter was received – these are important indicators of the severity of the claim. Also, any payment may be interpreted as admission to guilt.
Analyze the Claim
This stage is crucial. You need to resolve the matter in the best possible way by determining the extent of your liability for copyright infringement claims.
To check if you are liable, contact copyright or intellectual rights specialist to review the claim. This will help to decide the next steps and assess your legal position.
A lawyer will identify:
- What your actual liability is
- Whether the remedy being asked for is reflective of the author’s economic and moral rights
- What to do next, in terms of a reply, or counteroffer
- Whether the copyright infringement claim is accurate
They say an intelligent person thinks twice once they face a setback. The same is true in the case of copyright infringements.
Remember that it might be challenging to deal with a copyright violation claim; it is also a learning opportunity.
What’s There for a Copyright Claimant?
You need to know that except for counterfeiting, copyright claims won’t likely result in criminal sanctions or remedies like prison time. Like most forms of intellectual property, copyright is protected under civil law and is not an offense.
Moreover, the remedies are usually considered restorative and not punitive.
Copyright disputes can be resolved in one of two ways.
- The claimant may seek reasonable royalty or,
- An account of profits
Usually, the claimant would seek the one that is of the highest value.
Understanding how to protect your business’ assets can result in its smooth operations. Make sure you understand the above points and take the necessary steps.
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