When someone uses another person’s artistic work, he or she is violating that person’s right to ownership. If someone creates a tangible work such as a story, song or photograph, he or she has the right to its use and distribution. Someone who tries to use it or claim it without asking permission or giving credit is subject to copyright infringement.
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If someone brings a lawsuit against another for copyright infringement, he or she can ask for an injunction, which will prohibit the person being sued from continuing to use the work, plus money damages and attorney’s fees if the accused is found to be in violation.
In the last post we explained in detail copyright laws and the guidelines behind infringement. Now let’s look at some examples of copyright infringement that you may have heard about in the news.
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A famous case of copyright infringement in music occurred in the early 1990s when rapper Vanilla Ice had the hit song Ice Ice Baby. It sampled the song Under Pressure, which was written by David Bowie and Queen. The rapper did not admit it at first, noting that the beat transition was different. It was eventually settled out of court with the rapper paying an undisclosed amount and crediting the beat sample to its rightful owners.
The Hangover Tattoo
An unusual case of copyright infringement occurred over the movie The Hangover Part II. In the movie, one of the characters gets a tattoo similar to the one Mike Tyson has in real life. Because the boxer was in the first movie, the connection is obvious. However, the tattoo artist felt as if he should be credited for the design. He filed a copyright for the tattoo design a few weeks before the movie opened, then filed a copyright infringement claim saying he never authorized use of the design. The movie studio said it should fall under fair use because it could be deemed a parody. The judge in the case did not agree and both parties settled out of court.
To learn more, visit back with our next blog post. Our attorney in Raleigh NC will talk in detail about other acts of copyright infringement.
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Copyrighted works are protected so that others cannot use them in their own work, reproduce them, share them, or make alterations to them. For example, when an author copyrights his novel, poem, or other written work, he has the right protect that work and prevent others from using it or making changes to it. If that protection is violated, the infringer may be facing legal action and fines.
It's easy to make mistakes. Don't allow those mistakes to create problems for you in the future. Contact us for more information about our infringement services provided by our Raleigh copyright lawyers, and other services that may be of use to you or someone you know.
Visit other blogs in this series, below:
- What Is Copyright Infringement? Part One
- What Is Copyright Infringement? Part Two
- What Is Copyright Infringement? Part Three
- What Is Copyright Infringement? Part Four