When a work is protected by copyright law, the owner has the exclusive right to benefit financially from the work. This means that only the owner may reproduce or distribute it. This is where legal action might be necessary because copyright law allows individuals to utilize the federal courts to enforce their copyright when it’s been infringed by someone else. The Newport Beach copyright lawyers at Tauler Smith LLP understand that intellectual property law is constantly changing and evolving, which is why our legal team always endeavors to stay one step ahead of opposing attorneys. Our in-depth understanding of both federal copyright laws and relevant California laws and regulations, as well as our unique understanding of current trends in this area of the law, means that we are often in prime position to help our clients come prevail in any copyright dispute.
If someone has stolen your original idea or work, contact Tauler Smith LLP today. We will help you take fast and decisive legal action so that you can maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace.
What Is a Copyright?
Copyright is a form of intellectual property, which means that it comes with legal protections. Original works and creations are typically entitled to copyright protection. Some of the most common types of works that are copyright protected include photographs, movies, songs and musical compositions, novels and other written works, computer software, and certain business products. This can include retail items that are sold in a store or online content found on a website. Basically, any original work or expression that is tangible may be eligible for copyright protection.
Importantly, copyright does not apply to ideas since the work must be real and tangible. Along those same lines, a product’s “brand” is not copyrightable. But it should be noted that a company’s brand can still be protected against knockoffs and customer confusion under federal trademark law.
How Do You Protect Your Copyright?
A copyright is often vital to a company’s financial bottom line because it ensures that competitors won’t be able to simply steal someone else’s hard work and pass it off as their own. When you create an original work, that work is immediately protected against theft under U.S. copyright law. This means that if someone steals your work and attempts to benefit financially from it, you can enforce your copyright by filing a lawsuit against the offending party. In addition to stopping the copyright violation from continuing in the future, a lawsuit filed by an experienced Newport Beach litigator can also result in you being awarded compensation for any violation that has already happened.
Although registration of your copyright is not necessary to protect your IP assets under the law, you will need to formally register your copyright before you can seek legal recourse and file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court. A knowledgeable Newport Beach copyright lawyer can help you with this process and make sure that you meet all requirements for protecting your copyright. Without proper registration, your lawsuit is almost certain to fail before the court even evaluates it on the merits. Additionally, without a knowledgeable attorney to draft the initial legal documents – such as a copyright demand letter – you could be vulnerable in court. In the worst cases, a poorly written cease-and-desist letter can result in the court nullifying your copyright.
Copyright Cease & Desist Letters
It may be possible to accomplish everything you want without needing to involve the courts and file a lawsuit. In fact, the mere threat of copyright litigation is often enough to get the defendant to stop their infringement. This is one way in which having a Newport Beach copyright attorney on your side can help you very early in the legal process: by giving you credibility when you send the copyright violator a demand letter. Another advantage to being represented by a knowledgeable copyright attorney is that you may be able to negotiate a favorable outcome for both parties with a licensing agreement. This is a contract that allows the other party to continue using your work only if they compensate you for it through what are known as “royalties.”
What Happens When You Are Accused of Violating Someone’s Copyright?
There are two main types of copyright litigation: (1) copyright claims when someone has infringed your copyright; and (2) defense against a claim that you infringed someone else’s copyright. If you are the person being accused and/or sued for allegedly violating a copyright, you are going to need a strong defense against the accusation. This is true even if the allegations of copyright infringement are unfounded.
Responding to Copyright Trolls
The assistance of a qualified copyright defense attorney is often necessary in these cases, especially when the other party is a copyright troll who is using the threat of costly legal action to pressure you into a cash payoff. Copyright trolls tend to send cease and desist letters, emails, or DMCA notices demanding that you quit using a certain image or content on your website. These demand letters also typically include an offer for you to pay a certain amount of money to avoid litigation.
Before you respond to a copyright cease & desist letter, you need to speak with a qualified intellectual property attorney who can explain your options. A knowledgeable attorney can prepare a strong response to the copyright infringement allegation, in addition to protecting you against making any potentially damaging admissions in your response. The Newport Beach copyright lawyers at Tauler Smith LLP have extensive experience dealing with copyright trolls, and we know how to put a stop to these kinds of frivolous demands without necessitating costly litigation.
Copyright Defense Litigation
If litigation is unavoidable, you are going to want an attorney on your side. Our Newport Beach copyright defense attorneys know how to respond to a complaint or summons to get the case dismissed early in the legal process. By contrast, failure to respond in a timely fashion could result in an automatic judgment being rendered against you, which will expose you to significant financial liability. The Tauler Smith intellectual property team can prepare your case for trial and raise strong defenses/challenges on your behalf, such as arguing that you did not commit the alleged copyright violation, or that the plaintiff’s copyright is invalid because it should not have been issued to begin with.
About Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach is a city located in Orange County, CA. The city has a population of 85,000 residents, and that population is predominantly white, Asian, and Hispanic. Newport Beach is bordered by Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, and Irvine. The city is also within driving distance of several major cities, including Los Angeles and San Diego.
Real estate in Newport Beach is extremely expensive, with Newport Beach houses ranking among the 10 costliest in the United States. Several Fortune 500 companies have headquarters in Newport Beach, including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Galardi Group (Wienerschnitzel), Pacific Life Insurance Company, PIMCO, and Urban Decay.
Contact the Newport Beach Copyright Attorneys at Tauler Smith LLP
If you are a business owner, website operator, artist, or anyone else, the Newport Beach copyright attorneys at Tauler Smith LLP can help protect your original works against unauthorized use. We can also defend you against allegations of copyright infringement. Call 310-590-3927 or email us today to discuss your case.