What is copyright? And why does it matter? If you are the creator of an original work like a book, movie, song, photo, jewelry, or clothing design, then a copyright is what ensures that no one else can simply steal your work and attempt to pass it off as their own. Copyright is a type of intellectual property, and the rationale for copyright is that the person who was responsible for the creation of original content should be the person who benefits financially from that content. If someone has copied your work without permission or license to do so, then you may need to take legal action to protect your interests. The Irvine copyright lawyers at Tauler Smith LLP have extensive experience with IP cases involving copyright, trademark, and trade secrets, and we can help you with your copyright infringement case.
Contact us today to discuss your options and schedule a free consultation.
Legal Protection for Copyright Holders in Irvine, California
Copyright holders have legal protection against infringement by competitors or anyone else who might want to reproduce or distribute the original work without authorization. As the copyright holder, you have the exclusive right to generate revenues from your creation, whether it’s a screenplay you wrote, a song you recorded, or a photograph you took. Of course, you may have certain questions about IP rights generally and copyrights specifically. For instance, when does copyright protection start? And do you need to do anything to become an official copyright holder?
One of the huge benefits of copyright protection is that it can last for a very long time. Under federal law, your intellectual property rights extend for your entire life and then for another 70 years after that. If anyone violates your copyright during this period by either reproducing your work for commercial purposes or selling a substantially similar work, you will have the option to file a copyright infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. First, you must register your original work with the U.S. Copyright Office, and then you will be able to enforce your copyright in federal court with the assistance of an Irvine copyright attorney.
How to Get Compensated for Violations of Your Copyright
If someone has stolen your copyright and profited from that theft, then you may have a legal right to seek compensation. That compensation could include the profits that your competitor received, as well as damages for your own decreased sales caused by the copyright theft. Additionally, the Copyright Act allows for plaintiffs to receive statutory damages that are set forth by the law. This means that regardless of the actual financial damages suffered, you could receive up to $30,000 for each infringed work, with the possibility of receiving up to $150,000 if you can show that the violation was intentional and willful. Finally, you may be entitled to the cost of your attorneys’ fees if you win your copyright claim.
Another important remedy in copyright cases is known as an “injunction.” This is a court order that will basically put a stop to the defendant’s unauthorized use of your copyright. Once an injunction has been issued, the defendant will no longer be able to continue violating your copyright.
Defending Against an Allegation of Copyright Infringement
In some situations, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a copyright demand letter. When this happens, it means that you are the one being accused of a copyright violation, and you are probably going to need to speak with an attorney who has experience responding to these kinds of allegations.
One of the most common copyright infringement allegations is that you used a photograph or image on your website without permission of the copyright holder, which can prompt them to send what is known as a DMCA notice. Many times, these claims are frivolous: they are filed by Copyright Trolls who hope that the recipient will offer a quick cash settlement to avoid an expensive legal battle. The best move in these cases is usually to have a knowledgeable Irvine copyright lawyer issue a strong response that informs the copyright troll that their claims are unfounded, that you have no intention of paying them off, and that they need to drop their complaint immediately or risk severe legal consequences.
Irvine is a large city in the center of Orange County, which is one of five counties that make up the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Irvine was developed as a planned community in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Today, the city has a total area of approximately 66 square miles, and a total population of more than 300,000 residents.
Irvine is just 40 miles southeast of Downtown Los Angeles, making it easily accessible for commuters who travel from L.A. to work. Additionally, Irvine is just 45 miles southeast of Hollywood, which makes it a popular location for movie projects. (Past Hollywood films that have been shot in Irvine include Demolition Man, Iron Man, Ocean’s Eleven, Planet of the Apes, Poltergeist, and Transformers.)
Contact the Irvine Copyright Attorneys at Tauler Smith LLP
The Irvine intellectual property attorneys at Tauler Smith LLP help plaintiffs and defendants in copyright matters, whether it involves settlement negotiations or contesting the case at trial. Our experience in the courtroom gives our clients an advantage throughout the legal process because the other side always knows that we are extremely serious and that our top priority is winning. We understand federal copyright laws and we have experience in both federal and state courts. Contact us today by calling 310-590-3927 or by submitting a contact form.