-What if someone is infringing my copyright?
You can bring a suit for infringement. A court can order an infringer to stop, and can award actual damages suffered from the infringement, and any profits of the infringer that are attributable to the infringement and are not taken into account in computing the actual damages. In establishing the infringer’s profits, the copyright owner is required to present proof only of the infringer’s gross revenue, and the infringer is required to prove his or her deductible expenses and the elements of profit attributable to factors other than the copyrighted work. And, instead of actual damages, a copyright owner can elect to recover statutory damages, which can be increased where the infringement is willful.
-What if somebody says I am infringing their copyright?
If you use a copyrighted work without authorization, the owner may be entitled to bring an infringement action against you. You should carefully evaluate any accusations of infringement, which a copyright attorney could help you to do. Where there has in fact been infringement, innocent or otherwise, it often makes sense to resolve the matter without the cost of extensive litigation. However, sometimes allegations of copyright infringement are made inappropriately, and sometimes the party seeking payment does not own the copyright. Where such a party has been collecting license fees from many alleged infringers or licensee, those who have paid may be able to bring a class action to recover the improperly collected fees.
If you believe that your copyrights have been infringed, or that someone is making inappropriate demands for copyright royalties to which they are not entitled, please contact one of our copyright attorneys: Jonathan Rotter or Kara Wolke.