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  • Ryan A. Hamilton, Esq.

Copyright Infringement Litigation

Updated: Jan 13, 2020

Although many people and businesses assume that there is no harm in copying a photo onto their own website, that is not necessarily the case. Photographers and other visual artists have the right to protect their art from the unauthorized use of others, especially when others seek to use the art for commercial purposes. Hamilton Law has handled a number of copyright infringement cases in Nevada, California, and Colorado involving the unauthorized use of copyrighted photographs on websites.

Many times cases of copyright infringement can be settled without litigation. The infringing party may be willing to pay for use of the copyrighted work. If the persons using your work is unwilling to pay for their use, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to compel them to pay for their use.

Should I register my work with the federal copyright office?

There are compelling reasons for federally registering your copyrighted photo, including the amount of damages you may be entitled to recover if someone copies your work. Copyright protection for a work arises automatically at the moment of creation of the work. This is often referred to as common-law copyright protection. In many cases, however, if you have not federally registered your work you would be entitled to very little in money damages in the case of infringement.

By contrast, if you have federally registered your copyrighted work you may be entitled to substantial money damages if someone copies your work without permission. Such damages are often referred to as statutory damages. Further, you may be entitled to recover damages for your attorney’s fees if you have federally registered the copyright.

Do I have a copyright infringement case?

Of course, like most things in the law, whether someone owes you money damages for copying your photo depends on the specific facts of the situation. There are a number of defenses to copyright infringement, such as fair use, and it’s important to know how and when these defenses apply. The law is constantly developing in the area of copyright infringement and

it’s important to analyze cases similar to yours to determine how a court is likely to rule on your claims.

If you are interested in bringing a copyright infringement cases or need advice in this area, contact Hamilton Law today at 702.818.1818.

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