What You Need To Know About Selling Copyrighted Goods
If your business sells copyrighted products to customers without permission from the copyright holder, you may be held liable for copyright infringement. This means the copyright holder may take legal action against you and seek damages. In some cases, criminal penalties may also apply. Copyright infringement is a serious offense with severe consequences.
The U.S. Copyright Act of 1970 is a federal law that grants authors, composers, and other creators exclusive rights to their creative works. The Act sets out the scope of copyright protection and establishes the Copyright Office to register copyrights and provide information about copyrights. Under the Act, copyright protection is extended to literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pantomimes and choreographic works, pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, motion pictures, sound recordings, and architectural works.
Copyright infringement is a strict liability legal standard, which means that you reman liable even though you did not intend to commit copyright infringement. This means that unintentional infringement is still infringement.
Factors used to determine a violation of the U.S. Copyright Act:
1. Was the infringement intentional infringement? Intentional infringement involves copying a copyrighted work without the permission of the copyright holder.
2. The amount and substantiality of the portion used: This factor looks at how much of the copyrighted work was used and the significance of that portion to the copyrighted work as a whole.
3. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work: This factor looks at the impact of the use of the copyrighted work on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
4. Fair use: Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows for the use of copyrighted works without permission from the copyright holder. The four factors of fair use are: the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion used, and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
It is important to understand the law and obtain permission from the copyright holder before selling any copyrighted products. When selling copyrighted products, you must be sure to only offer authorized versions of the products and not any unauthorized copies. It is also important to include a copyright notice or statement on all products to ensure customers are aware that the product is copyrighted. If a customer files a complaint about copyrighted products being sold by your business, you should investigate the claim and take any necessary corrective action. This may include removing the products from your store, issuing a refund to the customer, and ensuring that any unauthorized products are not sold in the future.
If the copyright holder takes legal action against your business, you may face substantial fines and other penalties. You may also be required to pay the copyright holder any damages they have incurred as a result of your infringement. It is important to remember that copyright infringement is a serious offense and should not be taken lightly. If you are unsure about a product’s copyright status, it is best to seek the advice of a copyright lawyer before selling any products to customers. This will help ensure you are in compliance with the law and avoid any potential legal repercussions.
Rokita Law-Trusted Intellectual Property Lawyers in Los Angeles, California
When it comes to running your business, there are plenty of things to consider, and it can be difficult to keep track of all the legalities required to operate efficiently. Enlisting the services of an experienced business lawyer can ensure that any legal issues that arise in your business are sufficiently addressed and resolved. With Rokita Law, you can breathe a little easier knowing you have a business lawyer on your side that offers solutions to many legal needs with experience, passion, and integrity. Serving Los Angeles County, San Diego, San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica, San Bernardino, Riverside County, California, we practice in many areas, including civil litigation, business law, real estate law, and intellectual property, to give you well-rounded support with trusted, professional lawyers. Schedule a consultation today to find out how we can help and watch your business thrive.