Have you ever become a victim of a situation where your work is being used by some other third party? We all have at some point gone through it and could not do anything about it.
But there is an option for you to avoid such issues and that becomes possible through copyright. In simple terms, copyright gives an owner the right to decide what other people can do with it for a fixed number of years.
Some areas of copyright are pretty much complicated but you can always investigate a legal attorney’s help who’s an expert that knows about the detailed information.
Even though you are having exclusive rights to your work, it might happen it gets violated. To understand fully how to handle when copyright goes wrong, you need to know some basic principles.
What is copyright infringement?
Copyright infringement means when some other third party takes over your work without any sort of permission and do changes according to his/her grant. This is called Copyright infringement.
It also takes place even if someone does not copy your work. The example of copyright infringement holds true mostly in the music and art industry. It ONLY takes place when the work is significantly similar to that of copyright work.
This was the basic definition of copyright infringement. If you feel that your rights are being infringed then there are many legal actions you can take against the person. Before we head over the ways to tackle, there are rights you hold being a copyright owner.
There are tons of them for the owner to know. Through all of these rights, s/he can sell and assign their work for a precise period of time. The infringement happens when without the consent of the owner the work is used.
Here are few rights for the owner to recognize.
The Right to Reproduce Work:
This right says to reproduce the work, copy it or even duplicate, transcribe it in any other form. If someone made a copy of the work and resold it then the copyright infringement takes place.
The Right to Prepare Derivative Works Based Upon the Work:
A new work that is created on the basis of the old work that’s called derivative work. The right states that the owner has the right to change and modify his/her work. Usually, a derivative work will involve the conversion of a movie into a picture.
The Right to Distribution:
It itself states the meaning that the copyright holder can distribute the work publicly through lending, selling or on the lease.
The Right to Public Display:
This right refers to show a copy directly to the public by printing it, uploading on the internet or transforming it into any other public display way.
So, that was all about your rights being an owner. If you think that someone has gone beyond your rights, here are a few ways you can control the situation.
Talk to Someone Whom You Trust
Take a deep breath and let it go all at once. Now, go and talk to someone whom you trust deeply. It could be your friend, family member or anyone else.
Share your concerns pertaining to the matter. Talk freely and about your current state. This will help you in working out your situation through their advice.
If they agree with your trouble then they will help you to hunt for legal advice. And, if it just the wrong vibe, then maybe cross check the information.
Get in Touch With the Organization or the Person who disobeyed
If things get better through the communication in person, by phone or through writing, then it’s best for both the sides. Explain to them the situation. BUT, if they don’t understand then follow 3rd step.
Lookout for Legal Advice
If you are unhappy with the behavior of the organization, person, then go for the legal advice. Any lawyer who has brief knowledge about the copyright infringement will help you out.
The attorney will summon you for the below things:
- Your name, contact number and other personal details.
- Details of your occurrence and how did it happen.
By doing so, the person will let you know about the details of copyright infringement and other steps to be taken.
Send a Letter of Demand
A letter of demand is sent to the person or association who breached your copyright. It will consist of two things. Firstly, you informed about your rights related to your work. Second, you gave an option to fix the problem without going to court.
Most of the times, the problem gets fixed through little cooperation.
Go to the COURT
Even after all your efforts of communicating in person, the problem doesn’t get fixed and goes all in vain. Then knock the doors of COURT to request legal help.
There are infinite number of copyright attorneys present to solve these kinds of issues. You can consult a few and choose the best.
The court will take into consideration your petition in which all the details related to both the parties are mentioned.
Upon realizing that – YES! Copyright infringement has taken place, it will make an order.
In general, there are three chances that take place.
You will get a public apology from the party who neglected your rights.
The organization or the person will have to pay you the money for all the harm you suffered because of them. It is called damages.
An authoritative warning in written form is given to the party stating that they MUST stop practicing copyright infringement. In legal terms it’s called injunction.
These are the ways you can handle the gone out of hand situation. We hope that the above blog clears up all your doubt and helps you in handling the situation when copyright goes wrong.
For a safer side, it’s always good to be alert about your work and register your work with the US copyright office. It’s most important things because even if there’s a copyright infringement you won’t be able to file a lawsuit until you register the copyright of your work.