Intellectual Property Law
Copyright Infringement & Prosecution
Those who infringe copyrights may be liable for damages. Because the US Copyright Office administers, but does not enforce, copyright protections, cases must be pursued as civil matters. Before pursuing such matters, it is important to register your copyright (this can affect the amount of damages recoverable) and hire sound legal counsel.
There are several ways to defend yourself against an accusation of copyright infringement:
Fair Use: this defense may be appropriate if your work transforms the original work or if your work does not harm the market of the original work.
Independent Creation: this defense may be appropriate if you had no knowledge of the original work when creating your own work.
Innocent Infringement: this defense may be appropriate if not only did you not know about the original work, but also if there was no reason for you to not believe your work was valid.
*It should be noted that the guidelines for these defenses are very broad, and the courts determine outcomes on a case-by-case basis. Thus, anyone reproducing copyrighted material may be committing a violation.
Who should obtain copyright counsel?
- Do you currently have copyright protection or think that you should?
- Do you believe someone is infringing on your creation?
- Has someone accused you of copyright infringement?
- Are you unsure if your action constitutes infringement?
- Do you want to transfer, sell, or license your rights?
For more information on our copyright services and copyright litigation or defense, please use the contact form on the right or call us at (410) 752-1261 or (410) 752-9300.