If you are a photographer or visual artist, and you want to address a breach of copyright, you can send the party infringing your copyright a letting of demand. The letter of demand lets the alleged infringer know that you own the copyright to the image and that they have violated your exclusive right to use the image.
This article informs artists and photographers what to include in a letter of demand when you believe that someone is infringing your copyright.
It is important to send a letter of demand in the initial stages. If the matter is not resolved after the letter of demand is sent, and you have to take further legal action, the letter of demand may be used in court proceedings to show that you have taken active steps to inform the infringing party of the infringement and have given them an opportunity to rectify the situation.
What to include:
- Inform them that you own the copyright – Let them know that you are the owner of the copyright, which gives you the exclusive right to reproduce the photo or artistic work.
- Identify the infringement – Show them how their use has infringed copyright and explain to them the consequences of the infringement under copyright law.
- Give them an opportunity to rectify – Tell them how they can remedy the situation and give them a reasonable time limit within which to follow through. Make it very clear what they need to do so that they are not confused.
- Tell them the next step – Let them know that if they do not provide an adequate response within the specified time, that you will take legal action to enforce the copyright.
Make sure that you are aware of what your exclusive rights as copyright owner include. In your letter, do not make statements that go beyond the scope of your rights and the legal consequences of infringement.
You will also need to be able to back up your claim to owning the copyright, as well as the claim that it is being infringed.
If the person agrees and signs your letter, they are bound by the contract. If they do not agree initially, the letter of demand may also be a starting point for you to negotiate with the person and come to an agreement.
If you do not receive a response or the person does not agree to rectify the situation, you may consider taking legal action. You should contact a lawyer to help you determine whether taking further legal action is advisable in this situation.
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