We believe that it is important to protect the creative work and livelihood of photographers, graphic designers and other artists.   Our copyright division has successfully handled hundreds of cases in an efficient manner.   In most cases, we are able to get our clients compensation without having to resort to time consuming and hostile litigation.  We will represent you in a manner in which you can be proud.

Our service starts with a free analysis, even if your image has not been registered with the US Copyright Office  yet.  We will ask you a few questions about your case and then give you an idea of what we can do for you.  If you wish to have us represent you, there is no cost.  We will be compensated based on how much we obtain for you.

 

What is Copyright Infringement?

Copyright infringement is the unlawful use of an authored work without the owner’s permission in the form of a license through various forms of distribution or publication such as websites, magazines, or other printed material.

How Do I Get Paid from the Copyright Infringer?

You may be entitled to receive up to $30,000 for unintentional infringement (defendant didn’t realize that they were infringing on a copyright) and up to $150,000 for willful infringement (defendant knew that they were infringing on a copyright).

We are able to get a settlement without even going to court in 80% of our copyright infringement cases. This means you will get your money faster. If we do need to fight for your case in court we will also handle that whole process.

No matter what happens with your case, you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket. It doesn’t cost you anything for us to handle your case. We simply receive compensation through a portion of the settlement. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Call us now at (800) 860-2781 for a FREE consultation so that we can help you get the money you deserve!

Copyright FAQ

What is Copyright and what can be protected?

Copyright is a legal form of exclusive protection for authors of published and unpublished tangible expressions of work. Examples of protected works may include those that are literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, audio visuals, motion pictures, sound recordings, and architectural. Copyright protection is applicable to original work and compilations and derivative works to the extent that protection is available on the material contributed by the author, and not the preexisting material of the work.

What types of work will not be protected?

Works that will not be protected include those that are intangible, such as ideas, procedures, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, discovery, regardless of whether any of the above is expressed through tangible means. Additionally, any work by the United States Government is not protected under copyrights law, except for the copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.

How long will a copyright protection last?

In general, copyright protection exists throughout the lifetime of the author, plus 70 years after the author’s death. For works made for hire and anonymous and pseudonymous works, the duration of copyright is 95 years from first publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.  No legal formalities are required to have a copyright; however, there are some very good reasons why photographers should promptly register their photos with the US Copyright Office.

Why are copyrights necessary?

To protect an exclusive ownership right, copyrighting a work prevents others from reproducing, distributing, and preparing derivatives of the work. It also prevents others from performing and displaying the copyrighted work publicly without permission.

Who may assert copyright protection?

Authors of an original tangible work, whether it is published or unpublished, are entitled to exclusive use, with a few limited exceptions. United States is a party to the Berne Convention and will protect domestic and foreign authors of nationals from a treaty-member country.

Who owns the copyrights to a Photo?

In regards to photographs, the answer is simple. The photographer who took the photo is the copyright holder. Keep in mind, these rights can always be transferred, but the original copyright holder will always be the photographer.  What about Works for hire? The copyrights for works for hire are the employer, or the party that was named in the agreement.

What is copyright infringement in the digital age?

Copyright infringement is when someone violates any of the exclusive rights of a copyright holder. The most common infringement in today’s day revolves around images on the internet. Anyone who posts something on the web that belongs to someone else without a license or consent may be liable.

How are infringement damages assessed?

Authors are given the option to seek either actual damages or statutory damages. Actual damage can be recovered if the author can show that the infringer profited from the illegal use of the authored work. The author is only required to present proof of the infringer’s gross revenue to establish a causal connection between the infringed work and alleged profits. Alternatively, any time before judgment is rendered, the author may elect to seek statutory damages. If the infringement is unintentional, the court has the discretion to award anywhere between $750.00 to $30,000.00. If the author successfully proves that the infringement was committed willfully, the court has discretion to award the author up to $150,000.

What is public domain?

There is confusion in the digital age about the meaning of “public domain”. In the world of copyright and photos, public domain is the term used for photographs that are available for public use. The only way an image (or any protected work) can be in the public domain is when the copyright expires, which is as mentioned 70 years after the life of the copyright holder. Many people believe that if they find an image on Google, or if a photographer puts the image up available for the public to see it is in the public domain. That is simply not true, it is a misconception, don’t let it fool you!

What can be done to try to avoid being in violation of copyright laws?

The easiest way? Never post something that doesn’t belong to you. But if you want to post something anyways, here are your options. You can license the image for a fee through a stock photography agency or the photographer themselves, or you can get express consent from the photographer to post their work. If you don’t know the photographer, you should find out who they are by doing research or looking into the metadata. And the bottom line, you should only be posting something that you took yourself, you obtained a license for, or you obtained express consent from the copyright holder.

You may be thinking, but what if I post and credit the photographer, is that enough? In most circumstances, the answer is no. While a photographer may appreciate a credit, the reality is, they may have a cause of action against you for copyright infringement even if you credit them. And, they may choose to enforce those rights.

Call us now at (800) 860-2781 for a FREE consultation!