I believe someone ripped off my copyrighted work. What can I do about this copyright infringement?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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Copyright infringement happens when a person exercises one of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner without authorization. According to the law, the owner of the copyright has the right to sue for an injunction to prevent further use, seizure of all violating items, money damages and attorneys fees.

What is copyright infringement?
Under Title 17 section 106A, the owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to:

  1. Claim authorship.
  2. Prevent the use of his or her name as the author of any work of visual art which he or she did not create.
  3. Prevent the use of his or her name as the author of the work of visual art in the event of a distortion, mutilation, or other modification of the work which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation.
  4. Prevent any destruction of a work of recognized stature, and any intentional or grossly negligent destruction of that work is a violation of that right.
  5. To reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords.
  6. To prepare other works based upon the copyrighted work.
  7. To distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending.
  8. In the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly.
  9. In the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly.
  10. In the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

What should I do if my right has been violated?
Contact a copyright attorney for assistance in filing for an immediate injunction and full infringement case. Copyright law is complex and has very specific statues of limitation, so as soon as you discover the infringement, contact an attorney.

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