Wisconsin Copyright Infringement Litigation

Copyright protection should be a priority if your labor is tangible and consists of at least a marginal amount of creativity. Common law copyright protections may apply to you, even if you haven’t registered your works with the Copyright Office. Any works registered with the Copyright Office will be able to be enforced in federal court and the copyright infringement litigation lawyers of Loftus & Eisenberg can ensure your work is protected.

What Is a Copyright?

A copyright shields your work from being duplicated and leveraged by others without permission. Copyright law explicitly prohibits others from either replicating your creativity or benefitting from your efforts. Copyrights can apply to all types of creations from digital to visual, text, and even performances. Copyright law does not protect all unique ideas. For example, names, facts, or processes are not necessarily protected. A distinctive work will automatically be given a copyright as soon as it tangibly exists. Though it is not required to register with the U.S. Copyright Office it is highly recommended to ensure maximum protection and recourse against any possible infringement.

Works That Can Be Copyrighted
  • Manuals, books and other written content
  • Illustrations and other artworks, including sculpture
  • Videos
  • Logos and Designs (which may also be subject to trademark protection)
  • Social Media and other Web Content
Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement occurs when an individual or company leverages your copyrighted material without permission. Copyright infringements can be in several forms:

  • Plagiarism: Passing off someone else’s written work as your own
  • Counterfeiting: Creating a fake that resembles your work
  • Piracy: Illegally downloading or copying copyrighted material
  • Freebooting: Reposting copyrighted content without permission

Infringement hurts copyright owners and causes harm even if the infringing party does not profit. Loftus & Eisenberg are experienced in recovering significant amounts of money even where the infringing party has realized no profit.

Copyright Dispute and Litigation

Cases usually begin with a letter informing the offending party that a problem exists and invites negotiation. This is called a “cease-and-desist letter”. Frequently the alleged infringing party agrees to repair the issue after receiving the letter from a Wisconsin Copyright Attorney and this resolves the matter.

Call a Milwaukee Copyright Attorney now if you’ve received a cease-and-desist letter. Our attorneys are experienced in putting out fires before they spread!

If asking nicely fails a copyright owner can file suit in federal court for damages. In order to win you must prove that the copied work is “substantially similar” to yours and that you have suffered financial harm.

Defendants might claim “fair use” of the work. Copyright “fair use” laws allow others limited use of copyrighted materials without permission for news reporting, comment, and education. Defendants frequently argue that the work is open source or that it is not copyrightable in the first place.

Damages for Copyright Infringement

You can find actual damages through 17 US Code § 504 (a) but some examples of actual damages from copyright infringement are:

  • What a wanting consumer realistically would have had to pay in order to obtain permissions to use the Plaintiff’s copyrighted work.
  • The market value of any reproductions made without the Plaintiff’s consent by the Defendant, and
  • What a wanting buyer could have been realistically required to pay to a willing seller for their unique works.

The jury is provided a multitude of options when evaluating how any copyrighted work could be valued beyond what the Defendants earned from its use including Infringer’s Profits: 17 US Code § 504 (b) and Statutory Damages: 17 US Code § 504 (c).

 The biggest challenge for Wisconsin copyright infringement lawyers is being able to accurately define how many works were undeniably infringed. This is essential in being victorious through a copyright infringement lawsuit and the intellectual property attorneys at Loftus & Eisenberg have prevailed for parties on both sides of copyright disputes. Just last year the firm attained $850,000 for a writer with a case that other law firms passed on due to the incredibly challenging nature of the case. Our lawyers have over 50 years of experience litigating copyright disputes and are willing to take on even the hardest of cases to ensure your rights and properties are protected.

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