Our guide to Copyright Infringement explains intellectual property rights, copyright infringements, and online anti-piracy protection.
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What is Copyright Infringement
Copyright infringement, also referred to as piracy, is the violation of someone else’s copyright by using works protected by copyright law without permission.
Piracy infringes on exclusive rights that belong to the copyright owner, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative works.
In today’s digital world, copyrights provide protection against piracy, meaning the reproduction, distribution and adaptation of copyrighted content and images, which has become so fast and easy.
Let’s say you are a seller who sells products online, and you found an image or item description that you feel can promote your products. All you need to do is copy and paste.
However, if you use someone else’s content without permission, you may violate copyright laws.
What is Copyright
Copyright is a form of intellectual property (IP) that protects “original works of authorship…,” as described by the U.S. Copyright Office. It grants legal protection to creators of artistic, literary, musical, and scientific works.
Copyrights apply to various materials in different fields, such as business, science, arts, and more. Some of the works protected by copyright include:
- Logo Designs
- Website Content
- Blog posts
- Computer Software
This list is partial, as copyrighted works may take many different forms. All, of course, must be original.
On the contrary, using a word, a known expression, or something standard which already exists does not qualify for copyright protection because there is no creation of something new.
Ideas, concepts, methods, principles, discoveries, and systems cannot be protected by copyright.
Copyright protection comes into being at the moment an original work is created and fixed in a tangible medium of expression, whether registered or not.
A tangible medium of expression means that the original work must exist for it to be copyrighted.
A book, for example, is copyrighted whether it is published or not, and whether it is printed on paper or available on a device such as an e-reader.
Similarly, an illustration created and stored on a hard drive is fixed in a tangible form and therefore protected by copyright.
For the protection of copyrights in US courts, the owner must register his work with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Only if the work is created by a human being can it be registered. Copyright protection usually lasts for the creator’s life plus 70 additional years.
What Are the Rights of Copyright Owners
Copyrights grant the owner, whether a person or entity, exclusive rights in the work.
Only the owner controls who uses their work, and only the owner has the rights for reproduction, distribution, and adaptation.
Copyright ownership allows owners to authorize others to exercise their intellectual property rights.
Authorization means that they can license their intellectual property asset and monetize it.
In other words, you need permission from the owner, also called a license. Without a license, unauthorized use may constitute an infringement even if done unintentionally or for no monetary gain.
Online Piracy or Digital Piracy is copyright infringement that usually involves unauthorized uploading, downloading, streaming, and sharing of copyrighted works without permission.
In today’s world, virtually every business creates online content. Whether it is research, articles, or sales presentations used to promote your business or social media posts and videos created for the digital world, businesses present copyrighted works online
The Global Innovation Policy Center of the US Chamber of Commerce estimated that digital video piracy costs the US economy at least $29.2 billion in lost revenue each year and as much as $71.0 billion annually.
And this is just for digital video in 2019, before the pandemic and the explosion of short-form videos.
Some examples of Copyright Infringement
- Uploading someone else’s text to a web page
- Reproducing someone else’s copyrighted work without making significant changes
- Uploading someone else’s photos to a website without permission
- Posting someone else’s video without permission
- Selling merchandise that has copyrighted images on it
- Downloading songs without permission
To better understand the digital piracy landscape, let’s also look at a few examples.
A. What is Copyright Infringement in Websites
Websites contain different elements, each with its own copyright protection: text, photos, illustrations, videos, and applications or other coding are each protected by copyright.
Adding a product description, image, or another element created by someone else without their permission is usually violates copyright laws.
B. What is Copyright Infringement in Apps
App piracy is the illegal distribution of apps by someone who is not the rights holder of the app. In cases of app piracy, pirates often copy the app code.
They then delete tools like tracking and advertising and publish it with their own details, particularly monetization information that enables them to make money off the app.
App piracy violates intellectual property rights, and in terms of copyrights – it duplicates code, images, sounds, and so on.
C. What is Copyright Infringement in NFTs
Like other IP assets, copying, selling or publicly displaying works without authorization from the owner can constitute copyright infringement.
For example, creating an NFT video using or showing stock photos can create IP issues.
NFTs also bring about challenges specific to this new form of work, such as intellectual property issues concerning their creation, display, sale and storage.
Although we know IP infringements can arise from NFTs, this is still new territory in every way, including intellectual property protection.
With time we expect to see how IP claims develop and resolve, shaping NFT intellectual property.
What is Permitted Use of Copyrighted Work
Copyrighted works may sometimes be used without creating a copyright infringement.
The most common exceptions are as follows:
- Licensing – When you follow the terms of a licensing agreement, you can use copyrighted material. Licensing may or may not include payment to the copyright holder.
- Fair Use – The Fair Use Doctrine permits the use of copyrighted work under specific conditions and scope, such as for educational purposes, for the purpose of reporting, by using only a limited portion, etc.
- Creative Commons – This is a license granted by the copyright owner to permit the public use of his work under specific conditions.
- Public Domain – If the copyright holder places his work in the public domain or in case the copyright is no longer valid, such as 70 years after the death of the creator of the work.
How to report online copyright infringements
Reporting copyright infringement should start with collecting evidence that proves your ownership and a copyright infringement. Copyright registration is highly beneficial in that sense.
The US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) defines a procedure for removing online copyright violations without going to court.
It allows copyright holders to send a takedown notice to the service providers, such as a web host or search engine like Google, WordPress, etc.
Many have their own form for submitting the notice, but if they do not, use copyright.gov to see what needs to be in a takedown notice.
Although the notice does not mandate a takedown, it holds the service provider liable if they choose not to take it down. As a result, they usually comply. If they do not and you have registered your copyright, you can move on to file a lawsuit.
To take down infringing works you can also contact the infringing party or the hosting platform.
Major platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, have forms you can fill out. Since you do not want the infringing content appearing on Google search results, you can report it to Google by filling out the Google form.
Wiser Online Copyright Protection
In today’s digital world, IP infringements have become fast and easy, making intellectual property (IP) protection more crucial than ever.
Waiting for websites, social media and marketplaces to detect and take down copyright-infringing content is simply not enough.
The Wiser Market Anti-Piracy Protection Platform helps you combat copyright infringements with technology that works and a team of experts that stays on top of the fast-changing digital landscape.
For continuous scanning and detection, we employ cutting-edge technology.
Our monitoring system continuously scans digital channels, detecting relevant references to your brand and analyzing them.
To enforce your rights, our team implements unique e-commerce and brand protection know-how to ensure each infringement is categorized and removed quickly and efficiently.
Our scalable technology and professional expertise result in exceptionally high success rates, all with superb customer service.
Want to protect Your Brand?
Contact us for a Free Demo:
WiserTip: Copyright registration is relatively easy and inexpensive. The registration process may take months, and since some benefits are time sensitive, it’s highly recommended that after its creation, you register your work as quickly as possible.
What is online intellectual property protection?
Online brand protection services counter online threats and protect your intellectual property assets. Anytime, anywhere. To protect your business, use Wiser Market’s online IP protection services.
For more information, visit https://wisermarket.com/ip-protection/
What are brand protection services?
Brand protection services provide intellectual property protection, from detection to enforcement of your rights. Wiser Market’s scalable technology and professional expertise result in exceptionally high success rates, all with superb customer service. Do it the Wiser way!
What Does Online Anti-Piracy Protection Cover?
Anti-piracy services can help copyright owners to protect their content online. So what can online anti-piracy protection help with?
- Videos, from TikTok short-form videos to movies
- Publishing such as online product descriptions, blog posts, articles, magazines, newsletters, and books
- Apps and software
- Audio content from podcasts to songs and more
- Images, illustrations, drawings, sketches, etc.
What are the Benefits of Copyright Registration
In most territories, copyright protection is granted automatically at the moment of creation. Still, copyright registration is highly recommended because it offers unique benefits:
- Copyright enforcement Registration is helpful when serving a cease-and-desist letter. And if you want to bring a lawsuit for copyright infringement, you must file for copyright registration before filing the lawsuit.
- Presumption of ownership. Registration satisfies a basic level of proof as to the validity of your copyright and the facts stated in the registration certificate. Although it does not guarantee your claim to ownership, when it occurs within five years of publication, it gives you the presumption of copyright ownership.
- Statutory damages and attorneys’ fees under U.S. copyright law. To get statutory damages and fees without proving actual damages, the copyrighted work must be registered before the infringement has started or, in the case of a published work, within 90 days of publication.
- Public record of ownership. Registering a copyright creates a public record of copyright ownership. It makes it more difficult to challenge your rights and helps when someone wishes to license your work.
What to do in case of copyright infringement?
- Contact the offending party (whether an individual or a site) and request them to take down the infringing content
- Send a DMCA notice
- To make sure it does not come up in search results, report copyright infringement to Google
- Use a partner like Wiser Market that has scalable technology and years of expertise