If you do any sort of creative work (including writing, photography or music), then you likely have explored registering a copyrights to protect your intellectual property (IP) from being stolen or used without your permission. However, what happens when the steps you've taken to protect your work are infringed upon? Today we'll discuss how to prevent and stop copyright infringement.
Prevent Copyright Infringement by Hiring a Copyright Attorney
If you've never explored protecting your intellectual property or establishing copyright, you should hire an attorney who specializes in copyrighting. A copyright lawyer will not only make sure that you receive proper credit for your work, but also protect any future business ventures. This includes helping you successfully complete your copyright registration.
Beyond hiring a copyright attorney, the first step to protecting your creative works is to register a copyright. This requires you to file with the United States Copyright Office. However, we've found that if you have work that is likely to be copied, you may want to pre-register, particularly before releasing your creative work out into the world. Examples include a unique concept you plan to release in your next book, your new single or a photograph of a celebrity. While very few things are completely "new" anymore, there is always value in protecting your work before releasing a finished project.
Your copyright attorney will insure that there are no delays, oversights or mistakes with your copyright registration.
Hiring a copyright attorney will also make sure that your copyright is properly renewed. Many times, as our clients progress in their business endeavors, fine details such as renewal dates can get missed and copyright can expire, which can lead to your IP becoming available for public consumption. Your copyright attorney will make sure that your copyright never expires.
Unfortunately, even when you follow the proper channels to copyright your work, it can still be violated. When this happens, it is up to the copyright registrant to either seek resolution or file legal judgment. When you hire a copyright attorney, they will make sure that your best interests are properly represented and that the situation is addressed immediately.
On that note, let's talk about what happens in the case of copyright infringement.
Stop Copyright Infringement by Hiring a Copyright Attorney
If someone has unlawfully used your creative work, the first thing that your copyright attorney will do is to simply ask them to stop. The average person does not typically understand copyright law or doesn't realize that they've caused any harm because it would seem that "everyone else is doing it, so why not?"
For example, you recently came across an article using one of your photographs without permission. In all honestly, in writing their article, they likely did a quick google image search, came across your image and decided to use it without much thought. When your copyright attorney contacts them, most times the offender will take down the image voluntarily without further legal action.
Cease and Desist
However, when asking politely doesn't work, your copyright attorney may need to send a "Cease and Desist" letter to formally notify the infringer that they must immediately stop using your creative work or face legal action. In addition to the letter itself, formal documentation of your copyright is often included to prove that they are violating copyright.
If the infringer doesn't respond or refused to remove your creative work from their platform, your copyright attorney will help you navigate the legal process and seek damages for copyright infringement. While your attorney will certainly use any documentation they've filed on your behalf, it also helps if you've kept your own records to prove that you own the rights to the creative work being used without permission, and that by using your creative work, the other party has caused harm (financially or otherwise).
ELDRETH LAW FIRM | RALEIGH COPYRIGHT LAWYER
Hiring a Raleigh copyright lawyer is, after all, up to you. But, if you choose to talk with one of our attorneys feel free to contact us at any time. We are here to help you. Call now to learn more.