No. Because copyright focuses on artistic and intellectual ideas, most courts recognize the likelihood of creative overlap. In other words, people often come up with similar ideas without knowingly copying that idea from someone else. Therefore, in order to prevent frivolous lawsuits, courts require a certain amount of copying in order to constitute copyright infringement.
Because copyrights can range from song lyrics to ideas for a television show, there is no set standard applicable to all types of creative works. However, most courts name three instances where copying is too insignificant to be considered infringement:
The use of a minimum copying standard deals with whether or not infringement even exists. In other words, the minimum copying standard determines whether or not one can even sue in the first place. Fair use contrastingly assumes that illegal copying does in fact exist. More specifically, fair use is considered an excuse for allowing copyright infringement once a lawsuit is already established.
If you feel your copyrighted work is being illegally copied, you should contact an intellectual property lawyer immediately to protect your interests. A lawyer can help determine whether or not the copying is significant enough to warrant a lawsuit, and even assist in reaching a settlement or licensing agreement with the other party.
Last Modified: 08-31-2015 05:19 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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