Pursuing Financial Compensation For Copyright Violations

There's nothing more frustrating for artists than to have their works used without their permission and for someone else's profit. If this has happened to you, I may be able to help.

As an intellectual property rights lawyer, I've been able to secure compensation for a variety of artists whose creative works have been infringed. This can happen through either licensing agreements or a successful lawsuit. If you are not sure what the best course of action is, I can assess your case and advise you on the best course of action to reach your goals.

Statutory And Actual Damages — What You Recover Depends On Whether You Copyrighted Your Work

There are two types of damages recoverable in a copyright lawsuit:

  1. Statutory damages
  2. Actual damages

If your work was used without permission within three months of publishing it and registering it with the United States Copyright Office, or if you registered your unpublished work prior to the theft, you may be entitled to recover statutory damages. Those damages may include:

  • Up to $30,000 per infringement, starting at $200 for an innocent infringement
  • Up to $150,000 per infringement, if the infringing use was willful
  • Attorney's fees and expenses

If you have not registered your work, you still own the copyright, but statutory damages are not allowed. Instead, you could sue for actual damages — meaning you'd have to prove the amount of economic loss you suffered because of the impermissible use. Before you can recover any monetary losses, you must first register your work with the United States Copyright Office. If you are looking to copyright your work yourself, I am here to assist when you run into a problem.

Licensing Your Copyright To Create An Income Stream

One of the most important economic engines for creators of copyrighted works is licensing the use of that work. Licensing also benefits the creator, because it establishes the range of economic loss to the creator from other unauthorized uses. I have negotiated effective and profitable licenses for my creator clients, both exclusive and nonexclusive, across all types of media. Often, what starts as unauthorized use can turn into a long-term licensing deal.

If you are the owner of a registered copyright or you are interested in negotiating a licensing deal that protects your ownership rights, Fergus, A Law Office, can help. Call me today at 866-256-5487 or contact my office online. From my office in San Francisco, California, I represent clients nationwide.