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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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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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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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intellectual property attorney, protect your trademarks, Florida intellectual property attorneys, copyrighted material, Patent logosOften times, to the untrained eye, the Internet seems like a vast maze of information, images, advertisements, and videos. With the constant flow of data, it is sometimes difficult to differentiate the authentic from the imitation. It is just that confusion and uncertainty which emboldens unscrupulous types to appropriate the intellectual property of others and use it for one's own purposes.

Laws protecting intellectual property encourage creation, development, and innovation of ideas; however, when your company does business online nearly everything about it is accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

Does Theft or Misuse of Intellectual Property Really Occur?

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