What Are the Penalties for Copyright Infringement?

What Are the Penalties for Copyright Infringement?

Copyright infringement occurs when someone uses your work without obtaining your permission.  Works covered by copyright law include text, photography, videos, books, music, movies and plays, graphics or art, architecture, and sound.  In today’s technological age, it is so easy to copy someone else’s copyrighted work—but that does not mean it is legal.

How Do I Know If an Infringement Has Occurred?

To succeed on a claim for copyright infringement the copyright holder must prove:

  1. There is a valid copyright
  2. The person responsible for the infringement had access to the work
  3. The infringer’s defenses—such as fair use and laches—do not apply

What Happens to Those Who Are Liable for Copyright Infringement?

If you are accused of copyright infringement, the penalties can be steep.  The infringer could be responsible for paying the actual dollar amount of damages and profits they obtained.  Fees for each individual infringement can range from $750 to $150,000—depending on whether the infringement was unintentional or willful.  For an unintentional infringement, the infringer will usually pay actual damages between $750 to $30,000 per work.  For a willful infringement, the infringer could be responsible for damages up to $150,000 per work infringed.

Do you believe that your copyright has been infringed?  If so, you should contact Hutcherson Law today to enforce your copyright!