If someone uses your copyrighted work without permission, they’re breaking the law.
You can take them to court to stop them and get compensation.
Why Creators Consider Litigation:
- Protection: Defend and safeguard your intellectual property.
- Compensation: Seek payment for any financial harm from the unauthorized use.
- Deterrence: Send a clear message to prevent others from making the same mistake.
You Should Register Your Copyright Before Litigation
- A registered copyright is highly recommended before initiating a lawsuit in U.S. federal courts.
- Due to a recent change in law, you need a registered copyright to obtain statutory damages. With registration, you can demand pre-set monetary amounts of up to $150,000 per infringement, often surpassing the actual monetary loss.
- Recovery of Legal Fees: Winning a copyright lawsuit could mean the infringer pays for your legal costs.
Steps in the Copyright Litigation Process:
- Evaluate: Evaluate your claims and evidence.
- Start the Lawsuit: Draft and file a complaint detailing the copyright breach.
- Gather Evidence: Both sides exchange information.
- Go to Trial: If no settlement is reached, the case is presented in court.
- Decision: If you prove infringement, the court decides on payment or action to stop the breach.
- Possible Appeal: The losing party might try to overturn the verdict.
Defenses Against Copyright Infringement:
- Fair Use Defense: The infringer might assert that their use was permissible, such as for educational purposes or as a parody.
- Originality Query: A claim might be made that the protected work isn’t distinct enough to warrant copyright.
- Consent: The infringer could argue the copyright owner allowed them to use the work.
Factors that Influence Chances of Success in Copyright Litigation:
- Evidence of Infringement: Documented proof like screenshots, sales records, or direct comparisons of the work.
- Timeliness: How quickly the copyright owner acts after discovering the infringement can impact the case.
- Economic Impact: Demonstrate how the infringement caused financial harm.
Engaging in a legal battle over copyright infringement is not straightforward.
If you believe your copyright has been infringed or if you have been sued for copyright infringement, contact us for a case evaluation.