As copyright creators or owners, you may occasionally find that your copyright is being used without your knowledge or permission. This may amount to copyright infringement.  An infringement occurs when one party uses a substantial part of copyright material without the permission of the creator or owner.  As with any legal matter, most infringements  are initially dealt with by sending a letter, commonly known as a copyright infringement letter. This is often the first step before initiating formal legal proceedings in court.

Sending a Copyright Infringement Letter

One of the fundamental steps would be to determine which party infringed your copyright and to find out their details. Although this sounds like an easy aspect of the process, it should not be sidelined considering the anonymity that is prevalent online.

The content of the actual infringement letter often includes an outline of your claim against the other party. A lawyer will be the best person who can assist in determining whether or not you have a strong claim against the other party based on a possible infringement. This would involve an analysis of the facts of your situation and a determination of whether or not copyright infringement is likely to have occurred. The copyright infringement letter should go into some detail about the legal arguments that have been discovered.

Listing Demands

If an infringement has occurred, it is common to outline your list of demands in this letter. Common requests for an infringement letter include: (i) a request to discontinue use of the copyright or (ii) a request for money to be paid to you as a result of the use of the copyright material. These are two of the more common requests, or remedies, that may arise as a result of copyright infringement. A lawyer will be able to advise you on the likelihood of your success.

The infringement letter often ends with a request for a response within a certain period of time. It can often include an amicable option to resolve the dispute before going to court. It is viewed favourably by the courts when both parties have attempted to amicably resolve their copyright dispute.

Conclusion

Copyright infringement is not unlike any other commercial dispute. The process for seeking a remedy is often very similar and the inclusions in the initial infringement letter are quite similar to that of a letter of demand. If you are seeking to determine whether or not you have infringed someone else’s copyright or if you feel like sending a copyright infringement letter, a copyright lawyer will be able to help you in your matter!

Kristine Biason

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