Copyright Infringement of Your Video
Has Your Video Footage Been Republished without Your Permission? Call Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC to Discuss Your Rights
Has someone violated your copyright to your video by using your video without your consent? Has it been republished online? Included as part of another video? Used on television? Has its audio track played on the radio?
If any of these things have happened, your copyright to your video may have been violated. Just because someone can gain access to your work does not mean they have the right to republish it and use it without compensating you. When this happens, you may be entitled to substantial damages under the law.
Call the copyright lawyers at Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC, helping clients nationwide and across the globe fight copyright infringement.
When Someone Violates Your Copyright to Your Video, You Suffer Financial Harm
As a videographer, video producer or other person involved in creating video, your skill, passion, knowledge and experience go into everything you produce.
According to law, the moment you produce a video, your copyright attaches to it automatically. Contrary to what many believe, you do not need to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office for your copyright to be effective. Your copyright is created the moment the work is created.
In today’s digital world, many videos appear online. It is far too easy for companies and people to take the work of others, without permission or license, and republish it in some form or another. They cannot claim that they were “only” sharing or embedding it on their website, social media account (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others) or other online property. These violations are all unacceptable.
Our clients often see their work appearing on TV news programs, online news sites, e-commerce sites, social media and other places, posted by companies who do not have permission to post or use your work.
When this occurs, you suffer financial harm. The harm could be that you did not receive a license fee. The harm may be based on profits the other party earns by using your copyrighted material. Whatever the case, the work is still yours, you have the right to decide how it is used. You have the right to be compensated when it is used without your permission or in violation of a license you have granted.
Our Copyright Lawyers Fight for Video Copyright Holders Worldwide
Protect Your Rights without Large Upfront Costs
Many creative individuals do not have the financial resources to hire an expensive copyright law firm on an hourly basis. Instead, we work on a contingency fee. 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, not add to your challenges.
How Copyright Works With Videos
When you shoot video, it is considered an original work. This includes both the video images on screen as well as the original audio (if any) that you record while shooting the video. When you capture the video, your copyright exists automatically. You do not have to file anything with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Remember that if you are working for a company or individual and are creating a “work made for hire” the copyright to that video may belong to the other party. Consult the terms of your agreement with that party.
Publishing Your Work in Social Media or Elsewhere Does Not Waive Your Copyright or Your Right to Damages
One important point to remember is that you do not lose your rights to your copyright by publishing your work. You can choose to share your work on your Facebook page, Instagram account, website, blog or other place. Choosing to make content available on the Internet in a way that you approve does not waive your copyright to that material.
With the continuing growth of the Internet, republishing of content, people launching “news” sites, e-commerce stores and more, more content is being posted than ever. Far too many companies simply take other people’s work and republish it rather than seeking a license to use it.
This, of course, would violate your copyright.
Protecting Your Rights & Getting Paid for Your Work
Ideally, companies would come to you and purchase a license to your work and not simply take and use it. To be fair, most companies do follow the law and pay people for their work. We applaud this. This is how the industry is supposed to operate.
However, some publishers choose to ignore the rules.
Others claim to “make mistakes” and take your work by accident (ahem) and claim that because it was a mistake they should not pay for it. This is also inaccurate. Whether they “knew” it was copyrighted or not, they are liable for taking your work.
The reality is that all use of your work by others should be authorized by you.
The Importance of Copyright Registration for Video
One of the main advantages of registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office is that it can entitle you to recover damages in the event of a lawsuit. This can put added pressure on the other side, as they have the potential to be liable for significant sum of money.
What is the Difference Between Actual Damages and Statutory Damages?
When lawyers talk about damages in a copyright case, they are primarily referring to your ability to get paid. In the legal world, you need to show that somebody committed a wrong against you, that you were damaged and the amount of damages you sustained.
“Actual damages” refers to the loss that you sustained or the amount of profit that somebody else made from your work. Recovery amounts are based on the facts of your individual case.
“Statutory damages” refers to damages awarded under federal law, without regard to the actual damages suffered. The advantage to statutory damages is that you may be able to recover a significant award without proving that the other party realized an economic benefit.
If you are able to pursue statutory damages, the amount of recovery shall be “in a sum of not less than $750 or more than $30,000 as the court considers just.” If the court finds the copyright violation was willful, then “the court in its discretion may increase the award of statutory damages to a sum of not more than $150,000.”
Call Our Copyright Lawyers Now to Discuss Your Case
Remember, our attorneys help people across the United States and worldwide with copyright violation claims. If someone has violated your copyright to your video, you may be entitled to a significant award. Please call our law firm today to discuss the particulars of your case and determine if you have a copyright claim. Call us today.