How Report Illegal Copyright Violations

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Copyright laws protect your company's creative works from unauthorized use or duplication. In many cases, a cease and desist letter is sufficient to stop an infringer from continuing to use your original work. When this does not have the desired effect, you may take the other party to court to request an injunction and financial damages.


You are granted a copyright as soon as you complete an original work, but you can only enforce a copyright infringement claim if you register with the U.S. Copyright Office. You may not copyright a thought or idea. You must produce a tangible product as a result of the idea before you may apply for a copyright.


To report a copyright violation, you must file a complaint for copyright infringement in a court of law. You must demonstrate that you have a valid copyright for the work in question and the infringing party is using your work without permission. If the judge rules in your favor, he will issue an injunction to stop the infringing party from continuing to use your copyrighted work.

Financial Damages

You are entitled to reimbursement for any actual financial damages suffered as a result of the unauthorized use of your copyrighted work. The burden of proof is on you to show the amount of your damages. You may also choose to receive a specified amount of statutory damages instead of documenting the actual amount. For 2013, the statutory amount ranges from $750 to $30,000. If the infringing party earned any revenue from your work, you are also entitled to the profit.


About the Author

Denise Sullivan has been writing professionally for more than five years after a long career in business. She has been published on Yahoo! Voices and other publications. Her areas of expertise are business, law, gaming, home renovations, gardening, sports and exercise.

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