Copyright infringement occurs when one person violates the exclusive rights of another that result from holding a copyright. These rights generally include the right to sell, reproduce, or manufacture the copyrighted work.
For instance, if someone attempts to reproduce a work that is copyrighted without the owner’s permission, they could be sued for copyright infringement. The unauthorized use must usually be for profit in order for a violation to be found.
What Are Some Penalties for Copyright Infringement?
Copyright infringement is a serious offense and can result in the following penalties:
- Civil fines (damages) for losses caused by the unauthorized use
- Criminal fines
- Confiscation of the defendant’s products or materials
- An injunction requiring the defendant to cease production of the unauthorized works
- Other consequences, such as a suspension or loss of business operating licenses
There are often defenses available in some copyright infringement cases.
What Are Some Common Subjects of Copyright Infringement Cases?
Copyright lawsuits can involve works such as:
- Musical songs and compositions
- Theatrical works
- Plays, books, and other literature
- Works of art (paintings, sculptures, etc.)
- Video games
In recent years, video games and other electronic production have been the focus of many copyright infringement cases. Laws in this area can be fairly new, since such technologies often change each year (or even faster than that). Also, internet laws have also affected copyright laws in recent years due to the uploading of material to the internet. These are subject to fairly specific rules and laws as well.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Copyright Laws?
Copyright laws can sometimes be subject to frequent change. You may need to hire a intellectual property lawyer if you need help at all with any copyright issues. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and can keep you updated with any changes to the law. Also, if you need to obtain a copyright, or if you need to file a lawsuit, your lawyer can help with that as well.