What are the Legal Options if My Copyright is Infringed?
Have you decided to take the leap into the world of online entrepreneurship? If so, congratulations are in order. This lifestyle can provide an unparalleled level of financial freedom and with a bit of work, a great deal of success. It is still a fact that you might be forced to deal with legal issues sometime in the future. One common situation is associated with copyright infringement. What are your options if you believe that someone has violated your copyright? Let us take a quick look at what the professionals have to say.
Contacting the Individual or the ISP Provider
We will imagine for a moment that you have recently come across an advertisement on a social media platform such as Facebook that is utilising your product images to promote the items offered by another seller. The first step is to (generally) contact the individual or entity in question. This is normally in the form of a “cease-and-desist” letter or email. Such a letter clearly states that they are at fault and if they do not stop such actions, that you will seek legal counsel.
The other option is to contact the Internet Service Provider (ISP) associated with the seller or website. This is your legal right according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). As long as you clearly identify the work that has been infringed, it is the legal responsibility of the ISP to remove it from the Internet.
Still, remember that this works both ways. You need to be fully confident that you are not violating anyone else’s copyright in order to avoid a similar situation. Not only does this entail a good deal of research, but you should be able to create targeted ads which resonate with the consumer. You can read more about this topic in order to develop a sound (and legal) strategy.
Assuming that the material is still being posted or that you have suffered a significant financial loss as the result of an infringement, the final option is to seek damages for any lost profits. You may also be able to seek a court-ordered injunction; a legal document which states that the entity in question must immediately stop all activities related to your copyright claim. Keep in mind that this could even be possible if you have not registered the copyright itself. It is merely a case of illustrating that the individual in question has knowingly usurped your intellectual property with the intention of making a profit.
It is a good idea to gain a basic understanding of online intellectual property regulations, as you might otherwise inadvertently violate such rules. In other words, it pays to remain on the right side of the law and to know your options.
Please keep in mind that this is only a very quick overview of the options at your disposal. If you happen to suspect that someone has infringed upon your copyright, it is always wise to speak with a legal professional in order to obtain sound advice.