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With advances in technology comes various changes to the business world. Today more commerce takes place online than in the streets. With these advances though, come some new and unforeseen challenges. The world of cyber business can be complicated. Below we will discuss some simple mistakes you should work to avoid with your business. If you do run into some legal issues relating to intellectual property rights, trademark infringement, or another cyber dispute, speak with a knowledgeable cyber law attorney immediately.

Mistakes Commonly Made by New Business Owners

Starting a new business is no easy task. Finding clientele, developing a product, and ensuring that you have the financial security to wait for your company to grow are all issues that every new business owner must consider. With the landscape of business moving from city streets to web pages, it has never been easier for new business owners to make mistakes that lead to stolen ideas or legal consequences.

Failure to Register Your Copyright: Ok here’s the thing, if you create content and post it on your website technically a copyright exists on your work. The problem is, just because your work is copyrighted does not mean you have the right to legally protect it. In order to gain the right to pursue legal action against another party that uses your work, you will need to register it within the U.S. Copyright Office.

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US cyber law lawyerWhen starting a new business, it is important to take the necessary precautions to protect your company. If you develop a website, create a logo, or develop any original content the possibility of a copyright dispute is entirely plausible. First and foremost, it is important to protect your intellectual property from being used by another company. It is also possible that disputes could arise if another company believes you have used their copyrighted property. Below we will examine some of the nuances of copyright disputes and how you can protect yourself and your business.

Protecting Your Property

Ensuring that your property is properly protected is a necessity for every business. The first and most important step you can take is registering your property with the U.S. Copyright Office. Registration does not just apply to your company’s logo, you can protect text, images, and graphics, to ensure that your property is not used by a competitor. If you believe your property is being infringed upon, it is time to act. Working with an attorney can lead to a quick resolution. If the infringer is noncompliant, it may be time to pursue consequential legal action.

Fighting an Infringement Accusation

If you are notified by a copyright owner that you have used their property, it is important not to panic. The safest step you can take is notifying an experienced copyright attorney. Your attorney will help you analyze whether the claim is valid, and whether or not you actually infringed on the copyright. If you infringed, your attorney will help you take the necessary steps to remedy the situation. In many cases, you will simply be asked to cease the use of copyrighted materials. If the accusing party wants to take substantial legal action, you need an attorney that will aggressively represent you in court.

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Florida fair use attorneyIf you are planning to use someone else’s copyrighted photographs, music, or other creative works in your business enterprise, you need to be very careful that you do not commit illegal copyright infringement. If you reproduce another person’s copyrighted work without permission and due compensation, you could be sued for damages.

However, not every unlicensed use of a copyrighted work is unlawful. One of the most important issues in copyright law is the concept of “fair use.” The legal doctrine of fair use permits the use of copyrighted music, images, and other creative works in limited circumstances that are considered crucial to protecting the freedom of expression. Examples of fair uses include news reporting, nonprofit educational activities, and critique or commentary.

A user of copyrighted material and the copyright holder often disagree over the differences between fair use and unlawful use. This may result in a lawsuit in which the copyright holder seeks damages from a user of copyrighted material for what they clearly see as copyright infringement, while the user argues that they are protected by the fair use doctrine. Ultimately, the court sides with the law, which applies four specific criteria.

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Florida copyright lawyerWhen you have created copyrighted material such as music, photographs, or books, it is incredibly important to ensure that no one else makes money off your intellectual property. After all, failure to defend your work against copyright infringement means lost income for you.

However, you do need to be aware that some uses of your copyrighted work are considered “fair use.” The legal doctrine of fair use is intended to ensure freedom of expression, a freedom highly valued by Americans and protected by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

Likewise, if you want to use someone else’s copyright works for your own business purposes, you need to be clear on whether your use constitutes a fair use or a copyright infringement. You do not want to become the target of a lawsuit for damages because you improperly reproduced someone else’s original work.

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Florida copyright attorneyWhen you have a great idea for a copyrightable work and you want to make money from it, take action to protect your intellectual property (IP) before a copycat has a chance to get their hands on it.

How IP Theft Can Happen to a Start-Up Business

Copycats can come from unexpected places, as one pair of digital entrepreneurs learned the hard way.

To fully develop and market their product, they needed the expertise and facilities of several third-party vendors. Those outside vendors helped get the idea off the ground. The founders were excited as their business steadily grew.

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Copyright Infringement: Recent Lawsuits Highlight What NOT to Do

St. Petersburg copyright infringement lawyerVirtually any business can wind up being sued for copyright infringement. However, some types of businesses are more at risk than others, including those in the online retail, consumer goods manufacturing, and entertainment industries. Lawsuits in these industries are not uncommon, and damages payouts often run into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

A quick review of some recent court cases can help you learn what NOT to do, so you can avoid a similar fate for your business.

Print-on-Demand Services Can Be Liable for Copyright Infringement

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The Digital Millennium Copyright Act: What Business Owners Should Know

New Port Richey copyright law attorneyAny business owner with an interactive website is directly affected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). If you are not already familiar with this law, here are three things you should know:

Understanding the DMCA Safe Harbor Provision

The DMCA provides important legal protections for internet service providers of all kinds, including social networking sites, online marketplaces, and really, any business website that allows user-uploaded content. A “user” is someone other than you or an employee or agent of your business.

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What to Do if Your Copyrighted Work Has Been Stolen

Florida copyright infringement lawyerDo you create copyrighted works, either as your main source of income or as a tool for marketing your business? You surely take great pride in your creations. Naturally, you want as many people as possible to see and buy your work.

The internet enables you to reach potentially millions of people with your copyrighted material. But it has also made it incredibly easy for unscrupulous people to discover your work and use it for their own purposes. Theft of copyrighted content happens every day to bloggers, photographers, ebook authors, graphic artists, YouTube video producers, songwriters, and many more. 

At some point, you may be infuriated to discover that someone is distributing or selling your work for their own benefit. Whether you call it plagiarism, piracy, copyright infringement, content jacking, or theft of intellectual property (IP), it is unethical, illegal, and financially costly for you. Now, what can you do about it?

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