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NYC Litigation Blog

Friday, April 26, 2019

Copyright Infringement

A copyright owner has exclusive legal rights granted by the federal Copyright Act. More specifically, section 106 of the Copyright Act, under Title 17 of the United States Code, protects a copyright owner from someone else infringing, without permission or legal authority, on the rights granted by this law. These rights include the exclusive right to reproduction or distribution of the copyrighted work as well as the right to profit from the copyrighted creation for a certain number of years.

The laws associated with a copyright are in place to protect proprietary creations. When copyright laws are broken and someone else has infringed on the copyright of another, there are both civil and criminal penalties that person may face. To be convicted of copyright infringement, there must have been a valid copyright in place. The person charged with copyright infringement must have had access to the copyrighted work. Additionally, the infringement of the copyright must not have fallen into one of the exceptions that allow for duplication of a copyrighted work. If a person is found to be guilty of copyright infringement, the punishment can be severely financially damaging as well as cause irreparable harm to the reputation of the person or business found guilty.

What are the Penalties for Copyright Infringement?

The court has several options for what penalties will be imposed on a person found in violation of the copyright held by another. If a civil lawsuit is brought, the court may order the payment of actual damages which means the person would have to pay $750 to $30,000 per infringed work. If the infringement is found to be willful, the court may order up to $150,000 per infringed work for actual damages. Additionally, a copyright owner can sue for an injunction. An injunction is a legal mandate that would force the copyright infringer to stop reproducing or profiting in any way from the copyrighted material.

There are also potential criminal penalties for copyright infringement. A person may face up to 5 years’ imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 per infringement violation. Additionally, the court may order the copyright infringer to cover the other parties’ costs and attorneys’ fees. The illegal works may also be impounded and an injunction may be issued to prevent the continuance of the acts of infringement. If you violate a copyright more than once, you may face an additional fine up to $250,000 as well as up to 10 years in prison.

New York City Copyright Infringement Attorney You Can Count On.

If you believe your copyrighted material has been infringed upon, known that the law is on your side. Copyright laws are in place to protect you, the proprietor of the copyrighted material. Attorney Thomas M. Lancia is here to help you enforce those rights and get you properly compensated for your losses. Contact Attorney Lancia today.


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