WHAT IS COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT?


Copyright infringement occurs when someone without authorization exercises one of the five rights given to a copyright owner by the law.  Those rights are (1)the right to reproduce the work in copies; (2) to prepare derivative works; (3) to distribute copies by sale, rental, lease or loan; (4) to perform the work publicly; and (5) to publicly display the work..

Infringement can occur even where the person infringing the copyright doesn't know he or she is infringing the copyright of the owner, and even where there is no intent to infringe.  Those factors may affect the damages a court may award for the infringement, but does not provide a defense to the infringement.  Therefore, a person who does not own the copyright to a work (a book, a picture, a quotation from a book, a web page, etc.) must be aware that if he or she does not make an effort to determine who does own the copyright, they may find themselves facing a lawsuit in federal court and a claim that your lack of diligence equals intentional infringement.  Lawsuits are expensive.  The object is to avoid them.  Checking before using should be the motto of any person who uses anything that may have been created by someone else.


Law Offices of Douglas Clark Hollmann


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