Copyright Infringement of Your Illustration
What Do You Do When Someone Uses Your Illustration Without Permission? You Call Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC to Discuss Your Rights
Has someone violated your copyright by using your illustration without permission? Was your illustration republished on the web, in print or on television? It does not matter that they are “only” sharing or embedding it on social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others). Violations such as these are unacceptable.
When someone uses your illustration without a license they infringe on your copyright, and you may be entitled to recover substantial damages.
Let’s face it, illustrators are extremely talented people. They are very creative and spend years developing their skills. When they create an illustration, it can take hours, days or even weeks to complete a project.
Why should a company be able to take your work, publish it, include it in a product or sell it without compensating you?
The answer is they cannot.
Fortunately, the attorneys at Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC are here to fight for you and your legal rights.
Our Copyright Lawyers Fight for Illustrators Worldwide
We are a practice that is passionate about creative arts and works hard to protect the creators against companies who would violate your rights.
Our law firm was founded by Richard Liebowitz, Esq. He is a passionate photographer with his own published body of work. Through his industry involvement, he came to know many photographers whose rights were frequently violated, but who lack the financial resources to pursue a case.
Richard decided to attack this problem, and created our firm to protect the creators of original work. Today, we focus on illustrators, photographers, writers and other creators to help protect their legal rights.
Knowing that many creative individuals do not have the financial resources to hire a copyright attorney on an hourly basis, we instead work on a contingency fee. Essentially, this means we get paid when you get paid. If we recover nothing, you pay us nothing.
Yes, there is a law firm fighting for the rights of creative individuals. We are here to help ensure that your rights are protected and to enforce your rights when they are violated.
How Copyright Works with Illustrations
When you create an illustration, you are creating an original work. You own a copyright the moment it is created.
The only exception is where you work for a company or are contracted to create a “work made for hire.” In that case, the copyright most likely belongs to the company.
Whether it is an illustration for children’s book, a poster, website or any other purpose does not matter. The creation of the original work gives rise to a copyright.
Publishing Your Work in Social Media or Elsewhere Does Not Waive Your Copyright
When you publish your work, whether through someone who licensed it or on your own, it is still your work. Posting your illustrations on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or any other website does not waive your rights to your copyright.
While many try, they cannot claim a defense that you posted your illustrations on Facebook and therefore waive your rights. That is not how the law works.
Over the years, we’ve seen a range of violations dealing with illustrations, including people who republish them on news and information sites, on product packaging, on T-shirts, as part of the product itself and countless other ways. When this happens, your copyright in your illustration is violated, and you have a claim for damages.
Getting You Paid For Your Work and Protecting Your Rights
In an ideal world, everybody would come to you first for a license, pay you, and everyone would be happy. In reality, many companies and individuals just take what they want, assuming everything is a free for all. Again, that’s not how copyright law works.
You are entitled to be paid. Additionally, we can demand, if you choose, that the other party stop using your work or pay a license fee to continue using it forward.
Actual Damages or Statutory Damages – What’s the Difference?
“Actual damages” refers to you collecting financial damages based on the actual loss that you suffered, or the profits the other party realized. Here, the measurement is often how much benefit they received by violating your copyright.
“Statutory damages,” on the other hand, refer to damages awarded under federal law for the act of violating your federal copyright, without regard to how much profit the other party made violating your rights.
In simple terms, actual damages are about getting paid for the value and benefit of what they received. Statutory damages are more like a statutory fine, imposed by law for violating your rights.
Speak With Our Copyright Lawyers to Discuss Your Case
If someone has infringed your rights and violated your copyright on your illustration, we can help. How should you proceed? What damages are you entitled to? Every case is different and must be analyzed on its own.
We are here to help you, explain your options and, if you choose, move forward to protect your legal rights. Call us now to speak with one of our copyright attorneys.