Virginia Federal Copyright Infringement Lawyer
According to federal law, the creator of an original work has the right to keep others from copying their creation. This may include a book, a musical piece, a dramatic work, piece of art, a motion picture, a sound recording, an architectural work, and any original work. A Virginia copyright infringement attorney becomes helpful.
If you are being sued for allegedly copying a protected work, it is time to speak with a federal attorney in Virginia.
What Constitutes Copyrighted Materials
Copyrighted materials are “original works of authorship.” These works must be fixed in a tangible form of expression, which means that they can be handled or viewed by others. The following are materials that can be copyrighted:
- Musical works
- Literary works
- Choreographic works
- Pictorial works
- Dramatic works
- Graphic designs
- Sound recordings
- Motion pictures
- Audiovisual works
- Architectural works
These original works can be copyrighted by their creator. The author, artist, or designer may have taken years of intellectual learning and hard work to produce a single manuscript, painting, or movie script. Copyright laws prohibit others from using the creation without permission, unless certain criteria are met.
If you have been accused of violating US copyright law, contact a Virginia federal copyright infringement attorney to learn what needs to be done to respond to these allegations.
What Does Copyright Infringement Mean
When an individual uses a copyrighted piece of work, especially without giving credit to the original creator, they may have infringed copyright laws whether it was intentional or unintentional. Unless a person is given express permission from the original creator, an individual generally may not:
- Prepare another work based on the original work
- Reproduce the work
- Perform the work in a public setting
- Display the work in a public setting
- Distribute copies to the general public
- Use digital audio to exhibit the work in a public setting
Speak with a Virginia federal copyright infringement attorney today to learn how your charges and the actions relating to them may be prosecutable under this area of law.
Potential Legal Consequences
Legal penalties for infringing on a copyrighted work include:
- A fee of $200 to $150,000 for each piece of work that was infringed
- Payment of damages as a result of profits obtained by selling another person’s work
- Payment for attorney fees and court costs while pursuing copyright justice
- Impounding of any illegal works or copies that were created
- Possible jail time
To help minimize the harm associated with your charges, consult with a Virginia federal copyright infringement lawyer.
Fair Use and Other Exceptions
In some cases, it is acceptable to use part of a copyrighted work without permission. The idea of “fair use” allows an author to use a certain amount of a copyrighted work in his own work. Bloggers need to be especially careful when it comes to fair use. A quotation from a small portion of an original copyrighted work can be acceptable under the following conditions:
- The Nature of the Work – Creative works are more protected than factual works.
- The Purpose and Character of the Use – When used for nonprofit, educational, or personal use, it is arguably more acceptable to quote a small portion of an original work. Credit should be given to the original author.
- The Market Effect – If there is no effect on the marketable value of a work, copying a small portion is more likely to fall under fair use. However, if the copied portion adversely affects the creator’s sales, permission to use the work needs to be sought.
- The Amount of Work Used – If a small amount of the work is used, and that small amount is not a significant part of the story-line, it is more likely to fall under fair use.
For teachers within a classroom setting, it is often acceptable to utilize an original piece of writing, artwork, music, or photographic images.
After a certain amount of time, all work falls into the realm of public domain. Once this occurs, the work can be copied and used by anyone for free and without permission. Books can be adapted into sound recordings without penalty, while paintings, drawings, and photographs can be printed and used for various projects. If you are unsure whether you are within your legal rights, contact a Virginia federal copyright infringement lawyer today.
Protecting Your Work
If you are accused of illegally copying and/or profiting from someone else’s work, do not take the allegation lightly. Sometimes the situation can be addressed out of court, but you may be forced to defend your actions in court. Either way, your Virginia federal copyright infringement lawyer will be at your side for the entire process.
If you are facing federal charges involving copyright law in the Commonwealth of Virginia, contact a copyright infringement attorney.
Call our firm today to set up a free, no-commitment consultation.