Insurance Coverage & Copyright Infringement

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There are a variety of insurance policies that can help protect your small business from potential copyright infringement threats. Before attempting to purchase a specific policy you should check your business' general liability policy as it may provide some form of coverage for copyright infringement. Additionally, before purchasing another policy you should contact your insurance agent and attorney to determine what type of coverage will best suit your needs.

Copyright Infringement

Copyright holders have many exclusive rights including the right to make copies of a work, the right to distribute the work, the right to prepare derivative works and the right to publicly display or perform the work. If someone exploits one of these rights, they may be liable for copyright infringement. Depending on the nature of the infringing conduct and the type of work being exploited, the damages for copyright infringement will vary.

Read More: How to Avoid Copyright Infringement When Writing a Book


The penalties for copyright infringement can range from jail time for very serious willful violations to financial penalties for less severe violations. If the copyrighted material has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, it is possible to sue for statutory damages, attorney's fees and court costs. Statutory damages can can be as high as $250,000 per violation.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance coverage policies help to protect a business when they are sued for copyright infringement. There are many different actions that can lead to potential liability including: removing copyright management information, intentionally facilitating infringement, contributing to copyright infringement by making materials available and vicariously contributing to copyright infringement through financial benefit. A copyright infringement insurance policy will provide you with a legal defense attorney if you are charged with copyright infringement and it will assume all costs of the defense if your insurance coverage is applicable.

Applying Coverage

As soon as your find out of any potential claims regarding copyright infringement, you should contact your insurance agent. Failure to make an insurance claim in a timely manner can result in a waiver of your rights. If your claim for insurance coverage for copyright infringement is denied, consider hiring an attorney specializing in insurance coverage in order to determine if your policy may be applicable.

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