Premier IP Protection, LLC
"Our Law Firm Protects Your Creativity"
Premier IP Protection, LLC
Intellectual Property
   IP Basics
   Application Process
   Licensing
   Donating IP
   IP Audits
Patents
   Patent Law Basics
   Searching
   Application Process
   Infringement
Copyrights
   Copyright Law Basics
   Searching
   Application Process
   Infringement
Trademarks
   Trademark Law Basics
   Searching
   Application Process
   Infringement
Trade Secrets
   Trade Secret Basics
   Theft of Trade Secrets
   Library Reading Room
   Interesting Links

Copyright Infringement Basics

Copyright infringement is unauthorized copying of copyrighted material. Unauthorized copying can take the form of unauthorized reproduction or performance (for example, a musical performance) of the copyrighted work, or the unauthorized making of a substantially similar work or a derivative work closely based on the original work. A substantially similar work is a work that has only minor changes, such as changing a word or two, compared to the original work. A derivative work is a work that is a transformation or adaptation of the original work. Making a minor change to a copyrighted work or merely transforming or adapting the copyrighted work when a copy is made will not avoid copyright infringement. Examples of unauthorized use of a copyrighted work include unlawful downloading and copying of recorded music from the Internet, bringing a camcorder into a movie theater without permission and taping a movie projected onto the screen, and unauthorized copying of journal articles and excerpts from books and other printed materials.

In additional to civil damages, infringement of a copyright can carry criminal penalties, as well. Generally speaking, a copyright infringer can face substantial fines and imprisonment of up to 10 years depending on what is copied and whether or not it is the infringer's first or second offense and whether or not the offense qualifies as a misdemeanor violation. Of course, the infringer must cease making the copies. In addition, infringing copies must be destroyed.

If one believes a work may have copyright protection, he should seek permission to copy the work. However, sometimes this is easier said than done. The typical copyright notice, if there is one, may merely provide the letter "c" within a circle or the word "Copyright" or the abbreviation "Copr.", the year of first publication and the name of the author or owner claiming ownership of the copyright. Some authors even use pseudonyms rather than real names. Rarely are the telephone number and address of the author or owner given in the copyright notice. Indeed, no copyright notice at all is required to perfect one's copyright. Therefore, locating the author or owner to obtain permission to copy the work might be extremely difficult.

If it is not clear from such a copyright notice (if there is one) as to whom should be contacted for obtaining permission to copy a copyrighted work, one may look to several sources to discover the identity of the author. For example, trade and professional organizations, such as the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC); Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) in London, England; Association of American Publishers (AAP); Association of Authors' Representatives, Inc.; Magazine Publishers of America; Publishers Marketplace; the Authors Registry; Publication Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) and others may be consulted.

Additional sources for locating copyright holders include the U.S. Copyright Office website; the University of Texas at Austin website; the Authors Registry website; or the CopyLaw.Com website.

Appeal Media Interactive Studio
HOME  |  SERVICES  |  ABOUT US  |  COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT  |  TESTIMONIALS  |  NEWS & MEDIA  |  CONTACT  |  FAQ  |  SITE MAP
Copyright Premier IP Protection, LLC 2007  |  Disclaimer | Privacy Notice