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Copyright infringement basics

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2022 | Business Law & Litigation

Our state is home to so many artists, tech companies and businesses of all types and sizes. One of the most important things to consider when conducting any business is protecting your intellectual property, and this includes copyrights . Copyright law has several legal requirements and infringement mechanisms to prevent unauthorized use of your copyrighted work.

Copyright basics

Copyright encompasses many distinct types of creations: books, music, films and software are all considered copyrightable works. Copyrights have varying lengths, but, generally, for works made on or after 1978, the duration of a granted copyright is the artist’s lifetime and an additional 70 years. Copyrights do not necessarily have to be registered to exist, but you must first register your copyrights before you can sue to protect your work from copyright infringement.

Copyright infringement

There are several requirements for establishing copyright infringement. First, you must have a valid copyright. Next, you must prove the accused party had the ability to access the work and that their work has substantial overlap in likeness. If you can establish these three things you can  seek damages, an injunction to stop use of the other work and attorney’s fees.

Copyright and intellectual property assistance

If all this information seems like it is written in a foreign language, you are not alone. Copyright law is complicated. If you are the creator of an independent work, like software, literature or music, an attorney who is well versed in business law and intellectual property can be an asset to help you in the registration or defense of a copyright. If you built something in Northern California with your mind, creativity and time, you do not have to let another person or entity use your creative work without your permission. An attorney can advocate for your rights.