Home Copyright Infringement

Copyright Infringement

6 Copyright Infringement Penalties You Must Know

6 Copyright Infringement Penalties You Must Know

Any individual or entity that undergoes copyright infringement, or violates the specific rules associated with the exclusive rights that copyrights protect will be regarded as an infringer under Section 602 of the United States copyright laws. Copyright infringement is the blatant act of violating a preexisting copyright at the expense of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights guaranteed through the Federal Copyright Act. There are three basic elements that must be in place for infringement to occur:
1. The copyright holder must possess a valid copyright.
2. The person who is allegedly infringing on the copyright must have access to the protected work.
3. The duplication of the copyrighted work must exist outside the exceptions.
If any of the above rules are violated the following penalties will be attached to copyright infringement:
1. The infringer will pay the actual dollar amount of profits received from the infringement or damages caused by the infringement.
2. The law provides a range of $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed.
3. The infringer is forced to pay all court and legal costs associated with the conviction.
4. The Court can issue an injunction.
5. The Court can impound the illegal works.
6. The infringer can face criminal charges and go to jail.

Uncover the Truth Behind Costs and Attorney

Uncover the Truth Behind Costs and Attorney

When a person discovers that
his or her creative work of authorship has been used by another party for their
own benefit, the owner of the work has the right to bring up a civil lawsuit against
that party. In the lawsuit, it is the owner’s responsibility to prove that the
work is in fact his or her original creation and the infringing party has
indeed violated U.S. intellectual property law and did it knowingly.

Once the civil trial is over
and the decision is made in favor of the copyright owner, he or she is entitled
to receive monetary
 compensation
for his or her trouble. The
damages can include actual damages and any profits made by the infringing party
due to the use of the copyrighted work. Other times, statutory damages can be
requested. In any case, additional monetary compensation can also be given to
make up for the time, effort and money spent to win a case of
 copyright infringement.

Can the Copyright Owner Request Damages for Attorney Fees?

In any civil trial against another party, the costs of attending
court and paying an attorney to help win a case can be quite substantial.
Judging by the prevailing party in the case, some courts believe that parties
should not have to pay all the costs incurred by the invalid action of the
other party. Under U.S. law, the prevailing party, based on a court’s
discretion, may be entitled to the full costs of filing the suit. In some
cases, he or she may also be compensated for the entire amount or part of the
attorney fees, included in the entire sum of damages.



Understanding Criminal Offenses

Understanding Criminal Offenses

Copyright infringement is a violation of the exclusive rights granted by copyright law to authors of original work, which allow them to use, reproduce, or create derivative works from the original. It occurs when a work of authorship is used by another party without the consent of the original author. In instances of criminal infringement where work is reproduced or distributed illegally, it is commonly referred to as piracy.
Copyright infringement can be committed through a variety of alternative methods as well. Persons who engage in any form of copyright infringement are subject to punishment under intellectual property law, Section 2319 of Title 18.

What is Criminal Infringement?
A person is guilty of criminal infringement when he or she reproduces and distributes a copyrighted work for a period longer than 180 days through at least one or more copies of the work with a retail value of $1000 or more. A person would also be guilty of criminal infringement for the distribution of a work of authorship being prepared for future commercial distribution. This can be done through electronic means, usually over the internet, making the work available to the public illegally and free of charge.
For a person to be suspected of committing criminal infringement, he or she must be aware of such acts taking place and must be willfully involved in them. He or she may also perform such acts for a commercial advantage or for their own personal financial gain.
Evidence of reproduction or distribution of a work of authorship is not sufficient evidence to prove that a person was willfully involved in criminal infringement; there must be further evidence to support such an accusation. Remedies in court cases relating to unauthorized reproduction and/or distribution involve forfeiture and destruction of such illegal works and restitution to the plaintiff.
Criminal Infringement– Examples of “Works Being Prepared for Commercial Distribution”
Works being prepared for commercial distribution may be considered original works when found in several different mediums. The most common examples of these works which are commonly distributed without permission are computer programs, musical works, motion pictures, audiovisual works, and sound recordings. For a copyright holder to have a case against unauthorized distribution, he or she is required to have a “reasonable expectation” of commercial distribution if the works are yet to be officially distributed.
For cases involving motion pictures, the motion picture must have already been viewed in an exhibition and copies of it have yet to be available for sale to the general public in a medium such as a DVD. Illegal DVDs are generally made from promotion DVDs which are used to help gain a movie press through private screening exhibitions.
Cases involving musical works have become more complicated with the introduction of MP3 music files and sharing networks such as Napster and BitTorrent. Many lawsuits have been filed by the Recording Industry Association of America for the illegal distribution of copyrighted music over the internet. Bootleg recordings are also common in illegal distribution instances where persons record live musical shows to illegally distribute to fans.
Fraudulent Copyright Notice
If a person places a fake copyright notice on a work of original authorship which a person knows to be false, he or she will be charged with copyright fraud. In addition, if a person places a fake copyright notice on a work with fraudulent intent to distribute the work to the general public, he or she will also be charged with copyright fraud. The penalty for a fraudulent copyright notice is a $2,500 fine.
Fraudulent Removal of Copyright Notice
Any person engaged in the act of removing the copyright notice on a work of authorship or altering it in any way with the intent to commit fraud is committing copyright fraud. The penalty for this act is a $2,500 fine.
False Representation
If a person knowingly makes a false claim to the U.S. Copyright Office with the intent of registering a work of authorship, he or she may be charged with false representation. This offense has a fine attached to it of up to $2,500.

Learn About Damages and Profits Fast and Easy

Learn About Damages and Profits Fast and Easy

If a holder of a copyright discovers that another party
has used his or her material for their own benefit, it is a legal right of the
copyright owner to file a civil lawsuit. Once a court has decided that
 copyright infringement has indeed
taken place, it may decided upon remedies to make up for any damages suffered
by the copyright owner because of the illegal activity. In most cases, courts
may find that the infringer of the copyright is liable for the owner’s actual
damages sustained from improper use of his or her product or statutory damages.

Actual
Damages and Profits

Judging by the nature of the copyright
infringement that took place on the copyright owner, the owner may be entitled
to the actual damages suffered by him or her as a result of the infringement.
This also includes any profits obtained by the infringer which are directly
linked to the copyright violation.

When establishing a proper amount of actual damages to
compensate for the infringer’s profits, the copyright owner is permitted to
present evidence based on the infringer’s gross revenue. At the same time, the
infringer must prove that the profits he or she has incurred are not directly
related to the copyright infringement through deductible expenses.

Statutory
Damages

Before a judgment is decided upon by a court of
civil law, the copyright owner has the right to request the recovery of
statutory damages caused by the infringement, rather than actual damages. This
is based on any single work of authorship for which the infringer is liable
either individually or through joint involvement.

The sum of statutory damages is never less than $750 and
never more than $30,000. If the copyright owner is able to prove that the
infringer committed the violation willfully, the statutory damages sum may
increase to no more than $150,000. If the court finds that the infringer
unknowingly committed the violation, the statutory damages sum is lowered to no
less than $200.

Additional
Damages

Some cases may also provide further damages to the
aggrieved copyright owner under a certain condition. If the court finds that
the copyright infringer claimed to be exempt under certain conditions of a
violation, but actually was knowingly breaking the law, the copyright owner may
be entitled to twice the amount of the license fee for a period of up to three
years. This is in addition to any award of damages given to the copyright owner.

Knowing Your Copyright Defenses In Advance

Knowing Your Copyright Defenses In Advance

The owner of a copyright has
the right to take an individual or entity to court if he or she believes that
an
 infringement of copyright has been committed. Though the
plaintiff is likely to have a valid argument that copyright infringement has
taken place, there are several defenses a defendant can use if he or she
believes that he or she is not guilty.

The job of the plaintiff is to
prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly infringed upon the
plaintiff’s work of authorship . A defendant must establish doubt, resulting in
the copyright infringement trial being dismissed or the damages owed to the
plaintiff reduced.

Independent Creation

It is not uncommon for a work of independent creation authored by
the defendant to be unintentionally similar to the plaintiff’s work. The
defendant must show that he or she was unaware of the plaintiff’s work, so
there is no possible way that infringement took place, even with the
similarities. As a normal procedure, corporations destroy unsolicited mailings
from authors trying to secure publication.

De Minimis Copying

There is a legal doctrine known as “de minimis non curat
lex.” This means that the law does not care about trivial things. This can
be applied to copyright infringement cases where a defendant can use a de
minimis copying defense against the plaintiff. This is done when the defendant
believes that only trivial portions of the plaintiff’s work of authorship have
been repeated in his or her work, and no copyright infringement has taken
place. For example, if a copyrighted photograph appears subtly in the
background of another work, this defense may be used successfully.

First Sale Doctrine

First sale doctrine is a defense which limits the power of a
copyright holder, recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1908. It allows a
legal purchaser of a copyrighted work to resell the work or discard it as he or
she wishes. For example, if an individual buys an album by a musical artist, he
or she may resell the album to another owner. It does not, however, allow an
individual to make an unauthorized copy of the album and give it to another
individual.

Fair Use

Fair use is an affirmative defense which may vary greatly,
depending on the actions of the plaintiff and other circumstances of the case.
The defendant can apply fair use to a number of cases. If the defendant used
the copyrighted work for the purpose of non-profit, educational use, the case
may be dismissed. In addition, copyrighted work may be legally used by another
author for criticism, commentary, news reporting, or for specific research
purposes. Courts will generally look at the effect of the claimed infringement
on the original work’s value among other factors before deciding if the case
constitutes fair use.


Infringement Remedies Revealed Here

Infringement Remedies Revealed Here

When
an author of a creative work discovers that his or her work has been infringed
upon based on the laws of intellectual property, he or she has the right to
file a civil lawsuit against the infringing party. Copyright infringement in
the United States is a very serious offense and is protected by firm
intellectual law.

The
law is designed to protect authors and the original ideas they create. If
a copyright holder successfully files a civil suit against an infringing party,
a court will decide on an infringement remedy. The copyright holder may be
entitled to an award in the form of monetary damages.


Injunctions and Impounding

An injunction is a court order demanding an
immediate halt in the production of accused work of
 copyright infringement.
The purpose of an injunction is to halt the continuation of the illegal
activity with respect to the plaintiff’s claims of infringement. Assuming that
the plaintiff is victorious in the copyright infringement case, any damage done
to their work of authorship is minimized due to the injunction. If the
defendant is victorious, production of his or her work can resume once the
injunction is lifted.

At a certain point during a copyright infringement
case, a judge may order the seizure of all manufactured material thought to be
illegal due to copyright infringement. In addition, any material used to create
the illegal works should also be impounded, including molds, masters, tapes,
film negatives, etc.

Damage and Profits

Statutory
damages may be requested as copyright infringement remedies by the plaintiff in
the event that he or she is victorious. These are basically fixed costs
determined by a judge for which the defendant is liable. The range of statutory
damages can be anywhere from $750 to $30,000. If it has been found that the
infringing party has committed the copyright violation willfully, the total may
be raised to $150,000.

Costs and Attorney Fees

Costs and attorney fees can be part of copyright
infringement remedies. During a copyright infringement civil suit, regardless
of the victorious party, he or she may be entitled to damages based on the
costs of going to court. In addition, the victorious party may be awarded the
entire cost of the legal fees of his or her attorney, or at least a portion of
that cost.

Injunctions and Impounding Explained

Injunctions and Impounding Explained

When
an author of a creative work discovers that his or her work has been infringed
upon in violation of the laws of intellectual property, he or she has the right
to file a civil lawsuit against the infringing party.
 

What
is an Injunction?


Once the court proceedings begin, the judge will
usually force an injunction on the defending party. An injunction is a court order
enforced by any court holding jurisdiction over the defending party which
forces the party to cease all illegal activity of infringement. This prevents
any further damage from being caused to the plaintiff’s original work.

Even
if the defendant ends up winning the infringement case and is permitted to
continue with the accused actions, an injunction is still necessary as a
courtesy to the plaintiff who believes their work is being misrepresented and
damaged. At the end of the case, the injunction is either lifted, or further
enforced, depending on the outcome of the case.

What is Impounding?

At any time during a pending court case for
copyright infringement, a court may order the impounding of all material which
has been manufactured by the violating party and any tools used to create the
illegal material, such as molds, masters, tapes, film negatives, or any other
such articles. In addition, all records produced pertaining to the creation or
selling of said illegal materials, such as receipts or bills, may be required
to come under the custody of the court.

If
the records are seized by the court through impounding, all appropriate
protective actions are enforced to ensure the defending party’s privacy in all
confidential records. Once such materials have been impounded, the final
judgment of the court may order their destruction. This includes all materials
which have been involved in the illegal violation of copyright law.

Facts to Be Aware of Regarding Internet Copyright Infringement

Facts to Be Aware of Regarding Internet Copyright Infringement

Copyright
infringement happens when one party uses, sells, distributes, or recreates
another person’s work of authorship without the original owner’s consent.
 Copyright infringement can happen in a variety of ways, through many mediums, including
motion pictures, photographs, paintings, musical recordings, and literary
works.

With
the emergence of the internet, copyright infringement laws began to expand in an
effort to adapt laws to meet the growth of technology. The internet is a tool
that allows the easy retrieval of information instantaneously. This makes it
easy for information to spread quickly, though much of this information can be
copyrighted. To prevent this from happening, new intellectual property laws
have been established to protect creative works that are being spread without
consent quickly and easily over the internet.


Internet Copyright Infringement for Works on Websites

Websites are a great tool to help spread
information and show off creative works to millions of people quickly and
easily. Many people show off artwork, photography and writing on various
websites and blogs. If a person owns his or her own website, the information
that is placed on it is generally protected under current copyright laws. 

Since
information flows quickly across the internet and there is such a vast amount
of it, it is quite often difficult to tell if when a person passes off creative
work as his or her own when it is not. When displaying copyrighted work,
authors are told to take extreme caution.

One way to prevent this from happening is to have
photographs watermarked with a
 ©. There are
also ways to digitally sign content so that the source of it is easily
determined if an internet copyright infringement case goes to court. Overall,
it is important for authors to understand that although the internet is a
useful tool for showing work, anything put on it is subject to copyright
infringement. Authors should always use caution.


Internet Copyright Infringement on Musical Works

As technology advanced further, programmers were
able to find a way to compress high quality audio into small files. Also, with
the emergence of the internet came the ease of file sharing. It was not long
before copyrighted musical work began to spread quickly throughout the internet
without artists receiving royalties. 

This internet copyright infringement
became a major dispute with record companies and individuals that stole music
from internet servers across the world. New guidelines and procedures were put
in place to protect intellectual property, though it is still a major concern
today due to the evolving nature of the internet.

Read This Before Reporting Copyright Infringement

Read This Before Reporting Copyright Infringement


 

When a person or party violates the exclusive copyright ownership of a work of authorship, the owner of the copyright may choose to report copyright infringementAnchor. This is done in a specific manner outlined by U.S. copyright laws.

The U.S. Copyright Office holds records of all registered copyrights, though it does not enforce the law it administers. Copyright law is handled as a civil matter and the copyright owner is required to take their claims to Federal court to be heard. Some instances of copyright infringement may become classified as either a criminal misdemeanor or even a felony, and as a result, would then be prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

What to Know Before Entering Copyright Legal Proceedings

Under the Copyright Act, it is essential for the owner of the infringed copyright to register their claim as soon as possible to give themselves an adequate opportunity to remedy their situation in a timely fashion. The longer a copyright case is delayed, the less of an advantage is given to the plaintiff.

Copyrighted work that is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office will ensure that the plaintiff receives monetary compensation, while recovering attorney fees as well. The earlier a registration is made, the easier the process will be in the legal proceedings. If a copyright owner has a certificate of registration (with the U.S. Copyright Office), it is a prerequisite for their legal suit.

In addition, there is a false method of protecting one's work through a process commonly referred to as the "poor man's copyright". This act involves mailing oneself their own work so that it is sealed in an official envelope with the date stamped on it. This act does not hold any ground in a copyright case and has no evidentiary value. Contact copyright lawyers for legal advice and assistance.

How to Report Copyright Infringement

The first thing one should do upon suspecting that a copyright has been used illegally by another party is to contact an attorney that is experienced with handling copyright claims. The U.S. Copyright Office does not provide legal counseling or attorney referrals. A local Bar Association will be able to help recommend the right attorney for a person's situation.

Once the owner has consulted with an attorney and he or she agrees that the case should move forward, the next step is to contact the Intellectual Property (IP) Program of the Financial Institution Fraud Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Cyber Division of the FBI investigates intellectual property crimes, including digital and electronic works. The Financial Institution Fraud Unit of the FBI handles all other intellectual claims.

The division of the United States Department of Justice that handles intellectual property disputes is called the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS). There are also several organizations that help prosecute intellectual property crimes which can be easily searched for on the Internet.

Easy Guide to Copyright Infringement

Easy Guide to Copyright Infringement

A copyright
is a fundamental aspect of intellectual property law. Copyrights  grants authors or creators of unique works with an exclusive right to use, sell, reproduce, transfer and license their
works. When a person creates a creative work in the form of a motion picture,
photograph, book, audio recording, etc., he or she automatically obtains all
copyrights pertaining to it. No one else can use that work for their own
personal benefit, such as money or recognition.

A copyright
period lasts for the entire lifetime of the author, plus 70 years. After that
period, a work automatically enters public domain, meaning that it is now up
for grabs for use by another individual or entity.

In addition, if a person would like to receive
added protection from United States copyright law, he or she can register their
work with the U.S. Copyright Office.

What happens when another individual or entity
uses a copyrighted product without permission during the valid term of the
copyright? If a person uses and benefits off of another person’s work, he or
she is committing copyright infringement, a penalty punishable by copyright
infringement laws. The owner of the copyright may then place charges against
the violating party so that damages from the infringement can then be given to
the owner.

What Works are Protected?

Copyright infringement laws protect original works
of authorship. They must be contained within a typical medium, including:

Literary works

Musical works

Works of drama with music

Pantomimes and choreographic
works

Pictures and graphics

Motion Pictures

Sound recordings

Architectural works

Copyright infringement laws do not protect works
which have not been placed in a tangible form of expression. Such works may
include proper names, ideas, abstract concepts, etc.