If you’ve been accused of copyright infringement or trademark infringement, you’re probably worried about your identity.
And that’s fine.
If your business is worth millions, you probably have some rights at stake.
But the more complicated the situation, the more important the need for clarity.
That’s why the United States Copyright Office, in a new policy, has put a requirement on all content creators to clarify their rights to use copyrighted material.
The Copyright Office policy states that it’s “the intent of Congress that any information that the Copyright Office determines is needed to determine a person’s rights to a copyright or trademark should be posted on the Internet as soon as possible, consistent with the need to protect the rights of consumers.”
That includes identifying copyright owners, identifying the originator, and identifying the purpose for the posting.
“For example, a business owner who believes that the material is likely to be used by others may wish to include a disclaimer indicating that the person who made the use is not the copyright owner of the material and that it is not his or her intent to use the material,” the policy says.
That means if you’re a photographer, you should clearly and prominently display the copyright holder’s name and contact information.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you may want to put a disclaimer that states “The materials on this website were created by me.”
And if you are a professional musician, you could include a notice that says, “The material appearing on this site was created by a musician.
It is not my intent to license the material or use the materials for commercial purposes.”
And, of course, there are more complex copyright and trademark situations.
If a business uses a copyrighted material, you can make a complaint with the Copyright Department, which will send the company a letter explaining the copyright violation.
But if you file a complaint online, the Copyright office will take no action and the company will simply have to correct the error and refund the money.
“The Copyright Office has made clear that it will take action in these instances where the material was published without authorization,” says the policy.
But you can file a formal complaint by phone or email with the agency if you have any questions.
Copyright holders can also file a claim with the U.S. Copyright Office and seek damages.
That will involve taking the copyright infringement to court.
“If the Copyright Agency determines that you are engaging in an unlawful activity, the person could be required to pay you damages for the unauthorized use of the copyright or other intellectual property,” the Copyright policy says, adding that the court could also order payment of attorney fees.
So if you’ve got an online business and someone posts a photo of your business that infringes a copyright, the copyright holders will likely file a lawsuit against you.
But, as the policy explains, “the Copyright Office is not a court.”
So the copyright owners can’t get in touch with you to help with the lawsuit.
Copyright owners who want to complain to the Copyright Bureau are encouraged to contact them directly.
The bureau’s website says it’s looking into all copyright issues, but the agency has no specific complaint procedures.
But it’s possible that a business can get in contact with a copyright owner via the Copyright Board or through a private group.
For example, if you own an online photography website, you might want to make sure to alert the Copyright Boards of your website’s content.
Copyright Board members have the authority to issue an injunction, which would require the owner of a copyright to stop the unauthorized posting of copyrighted material and give the copyrightee a year to respond.
But they can’t force the owner to stop posting the material.
You might want someone else to help.
A few states, including New York and California, have laws that could give you a legal claim if you post a copyrighted image online without permission.
For those states, you need to file a DMCA takedown notice with the Internet service provider, which is the company that provides your service.
The notice can be very complicated, so it’s important to read the statute carefully before you file it.
And if the copyright company is not willing to comply, you have options.
You can take your complaint to a federal court.
That can happen through a special court, or you can sue the company itself.
And, if the company is willing to pay for a lawsuit, you are likely to win, but it’s not guaranteed.
A copyright owner can often collect more than $150,000 in fees and damages.
If the copyright is registered by a corporation, a corporation is considered a “party” under the law.
If it’s a partnership, a “partner” is considered “a third party.”
So if a business gets sued for copyright infringement, it’s likely that it’ll have to pay the copyright infringer more than the owner.