U.S. copyright law gives individuals an exclusive right to profit from their works of art or other original creations. When someone other than the copyright holder attempts to distribute or sell the work (or a reproduction of the work), it may be necessary to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement. The Austin copyright lawyers at Tauler Smith LLP have a deep understanding of intellectual property law, and we know how to navigate federal courts in Texas to help our clients achieve favorable outcomes to their cases. We will do everything possible to make sure that you win your copyright dispute, whether you are the plaintiff alleging copyright infringement or the defendant who has been accused of a copyright violation.
Contact Tauler Smith LLP to speak with one of our skilled Texas attorneys today.
Copyright Infringement Claims in Austin, Texas
Tauler Smith LLP represents clients in copyright infringement cases throughout Texas, including Austin. Copyright is a type of intellectual property that allows the creators of original works to seek legal redress when someone uses the copyrighted work without authorization. The kinds of works that are eligible for copyright protection include photos, movies, songs, books, and even computer software. A common example of copyright infringement is when someone publishes a photograph on their website. If the copyright for that photograph is owned by another person, then this may constitute a legally actionable copyright violation. This is where an experienced Austin copyright lawyer can make all the difference because they can advise you on the proper steps to take to enforce your copyright.
Taking Legal Action to Protect Your Copyright
There is common law protection for copyright, which means that other people are barred from using your photo, writing, or other original work even if it has not been formally registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. If someone steals your work and then generates revenues or derives any kind of financial benefit from that work, you may be able to take legal action to protect your copyright. Importantly, however, you will probably need to register the copyright before you can file a lawsuit. This is one of the significant benefits of copyright registration: the ability to enforce the copyright and pursue damages in federal court.
Prior to filing a civil suit in U.S. District Court, you will want to speak with an experienced Austin litigator who can help you with the complicated legal process. This may include filing for formal recognition of the copyright by the Copyright Office, as well as sending a well-written copyright demand letter to the offending party.
Copyright Demand Letters
Sometimes, the threat of litigation is enough to get a copyright violator to cease their infringement. Knowledgeable copyright attorneys know how to draft demand letters that get the attention of defendants in these cases. The reality is that pursuing a copyright infringement lawsuit all the way through trial can be costly, and the same is true for defending against a copyright infringement claim. That’s why defendants are often motivated to settle early in the legal process. It can give you an edge in your pre-trial negotiations to be represented by an experienced lawyer. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be possible to get the other party to agree to stop violating your copyright, pay you for any violation that already occurred, and even agree to a licensing agreement that will compensate you for further use of the copyright.
Defending Against a Copyright Infringement Allegation in Austin, TX
If you’ve been accused of violating another person’s copyright, you probably received a cease & desist letter in the mail or online via email. The letter may have demanded that you stop using a photo or other work, and it might also have included a threat of costly legal action unless you pay a large sum of money. Many times, these copyright demand letters are sent by copyright trolls who scour the internet daily looking for photographs or other images. When they find a photo being used on a website, the copyright troll identifies the website operator and threatens litigation. Fighting back against a copyright infringement allegation typically requires an aggressive approach. The Austin copyright defense lawyers at Tauler Smith LLP know how to respond to a copyright cease-and-desist letter or DMCA notice and shut down frivolous litigation before it spirals out of control.
About Austin, TX
Austin is in central Travis County, which is in the geographical heart of Texas known as Central Texas. Austin is the main city that makes up the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, a five-county area that includes other major Central Texas cities like Cedar Park, Georgetown, Pflugerville, and Leander.
Austin’s city slogan calls it “The Live Music Capital of the World” because the city is home to a substantial number of musicians and venues. In fact, Austin ranks first among all U.S. cities for having the most music venues per capita. Austin is also known for its thriving film economy, which includes several annual film festivals and numerous popular movie theaters. Major Hollywood films that have been shot in Austin include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dazed and Confused, Spy Kids, Miss Congeniality, School of Rock, and True Grit. Additionally, the popular TV series “Fear the Walking Dead” has filmed episodes in the Austin area.
Free Consultation with Austin Copyright Attorneys
The Tauler Smith LLP litigation team includes Austin copyright attorneys who are dedicated to helping business owners, website operators, and artists protect their original works. We also defend clients against claims of copyright infringement in Texas. Call 972-920-6040 or email us to schedule a free consultation.