Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

What is copyright infringement?

When companies, small businesses, artists or entrepreneurs come up with an idea, they likely want to protect that idea, as it is very vital to the success of their brand, company or business operation. This is where a copyright can come into play. A copyright is a form of intellectual property protection, which is provided by U.S. laws. This form of protection is available for authors of original works that are fixed in tangible form, whether it is published or unpublished. This includes works such as paintings, literary works, live performances, photographs, movies and even software.

While a copyright is used to protect works, this does not mean the work is entirely safe. Someone might attempt to steal the work, not upholding the terms of the copyrighted work. This is known as copyright infringement, and it is considered a white-collar crime.

What is copyright infringement? This occurs when anyone violates the exclusive rights of the copyright owner. The legal or beneficial owner of a copyright is entitled to take action when an infringement occurs. In some cases, the owner of the copyright might be required to serve a written notice and file a complaint. In addition to suing in a civil action, the person accused of copyright infringement may face criminal penalties as well.

Criminal infringement occurs when a person willfully infringes a copyright for the purpose of commercial advantages or private financial gain, by the reproduction or distribution during a 180-day period with a retail value of more than $1,000 or by the distribution of work prepared for commercial distribution is made available on a computer network that is accessible to the public and the person knew or should have known it was intended for commercial distribution.

Those accused of copyright infringement could face both civil and criminal penalties, creating a very overwhelming and difficult situation for the accused. Thus, defendants should take the time to fully understand the matter, becoming aware of their rights and ability to establish a criminal defense.

Source: Copyright.gov, "Chapter 5: Copyright Notice, Deposit, and Registration," accessed March 25, 2018

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Need Help From An Experienced Team Of Trial Attorneys?

Use the form below to contact our attorneys directly. Contact us right now.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined experience and are AV-rated* under Martindale Hubbell's peer review rating system.

*CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

8048 One Calais Avenue | Suite A | Baton Rouge, LA 70809-3483 | Phone: 225-250-1812 | Fax: 225-769-0195 | Baton Rouge Law Office Map