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Brooklyn, NY Legal Blog

Saturday, April 1, 2017

What is Copyright Infringement?

In the United States, a Copyright is a legal right that grants the creator of an original work (literary, artistic, musical, or other creative work) exclusive rights for its use and distribution. The owner of the Copyright has the sole right to publish and sell that work.  Copyright owners have the right to control the reproduction of their work, including the right to receive payment for that reproduction. An author may grant (through a license) or sell those rights to others, including publishers, recording companies, or movie/television studios.

What is Copyright Infringement? 

Infringement occurs when the two works are “substantially similar,” proof of which is broadly defined by the courts. To establish substantial similarity, the plaintiff must generally prove an ordinary reasonable person would conclude a Defendant has appropriated the original work. The Plaintiff must also prove that its work was substantially taken, either quantitatively or qualitatively.

Infringement can also be indirect if the indirect infringer knew about the infringement and materially contributed to it in some way. Alternately, vicarious infringement can occur when a party has the right and ability to supervise the infringing activity and a direct or indirect financial interest in the activities.

Click here to read about our recent copyright infringement case which was filed on March 29, 2017.  The filing of the Copyright Infringement lawsuit was first reported on TMZ involving our firm’s client and Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Inc., and producers Aaron McGruder, and Mike Clattenburg.

Copyright Infringement Remedies

If your Copyright protected work has been infringed upon by another person you may seek relief from the Court, which may can grant preliminary and permanent injunctions, or court orders that restrain the infringing party from continuing to infringe the Copyright.

In addition to injunctive relief, statutory damages and non-statutory monetary damages are available in Copyright Infringement cases. Statutory damages are generally range anywhere between $750 and $30,000 per infringement (determination of statutory damages is based on the judge's discretion) but can be as high as $150,000 per infringement if the infringement is deemed willful. If the Plaintiff registered his or her work with the United States Copyright Office, compensation for attorneys' fees may also be available. Non-statutory damages include lost profits, the loss of future exploitation of the work, and recovery for profits wrongfully attained by the infringer, so long as it does not overlap with the Plaintiff's actual losses.

New York Copyright Infringement Attorneys

If you are the owner of a Copyright and you know that your exclusive rights are being violated by an infringer, you could have a claim for Copyright Infringement. Our experienced team of attorneys are available to meet with you and to go over your options for pursuing a Copyright Infringement claim.  We can provide you with thought out legal guidance and the proper representation that you need as you pursue your Copyright Infringement claim against the infringing party.  To schedule a consultation with our firm, please call our office at (646) 504-7384 or email us at effie@soterlawpc.com. 

 


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