What is Copyright Infringement, and What are Its Remedies?
Copyright is one of the trickier parts of being a content creator. With the advent of social media and various platforms for content sharing, it is still quite surprising that creators are still unaware of copyright infringements and the many ways that they can protect their works.
If you are a photographer, videographer, graphic artist, or any kind of content creator, then read on to see how copyright infringement may occur and how you can use various remedies to ensure that you preserve your rights.
What is Copyright?
Simply put, copyright is a person’s legal right over his creative works.
For example, when a photographer shoots a photo, the copyright to that photo belongs to the photographer when it gets taken. Similarly, when a poet writes poetry, she owns the copyright to the poem at its making.
Of course, there are instances when the copyright may be passed or licensed to another. When an authorized person uses the work within the scope of the agreement between the creator and the licensee, there is no problem.
However, problems arise if a creative work gets used outside of the agreement’s scope, without permission, or without crediting the original maker of the intellectual work. When this occurs, the original creator may have a claim for copyright infringement.
How Does Copyright Infringement Occur?
Copyright infringement is the use of copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder. There are several ways infringement can happen. Here are the most common ways people infringe on copyrights.
Not securing permission to use a work
There can be copyright infringement when someone does not have permission from the creator of the work. A good example is when your photograph gets printed in a newspaper, and they fail to license the image from you. Failing to secure permission through a license or other consent can be akin to infringement.
Taking credit over the work or passing it for his own
This can also be called plagiarism, which is a form of infringement. When another person passes off another person’s intellectual work as his own, it is a form of copyright infringement. An example might be when a photograph is taken by you and is edited slightly by someone else, who puts his name as the original creator.
Another example is directly copying a passage from another research paper and using it as your own. Passing something off as yours when it is not is a common way of infringing on someone’s copyrights.
Using the work outside the scope of an agreement
This is usually applicable for creators who license their works to others. The licensing agreement normally governs their relationship, including the terms of the copyright agreement. However, there are still some instances when the licensee fails to abide by the agreement and infringes on the creator’s copyright.
For example, a photographer licenses his photo for use on a product’s packaging. However, the licensee makes prints on tee-shirts and sells them for profit. Since the use falls outside the scope of the licensing agreement, it can also constitute copyright infringement.
What are My Remedies When Someone Infringes My Copyright?
There are several remedies available to enforce your copyright when somebody commits copyright infringement.
The most common way is to send a Cease and Desist letter. This usually demands the violator to take down the copyrighted material and stop its further usage. The letter is usually coupled with a Demand Letter, with a demand for damages, like fees and royalties.
Some violators are not swayed by letters and continue to violate your copyright.
You should speak to our copyright infringement lawyers to ensure you understand your options. There are ways to stop copyright infringement, including filing a legal action.
Contact Our Copyright Lawyers at Liebowitz Law Firm Today
Our copyright lawyers are more than happy to help you pursue a copyright infringement claim. If you feel that your copyright is violated, such as your photos being used without your permission, we can help you collect the damage to which you are entitled.
Call Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC, at 800-778-1660 to schedule your free consultation. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping photographers and other creative professionals protect their copyrights