Archive for the ‘What Is Copyright Infringement’ Category

How Do I Send A Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Takedown Notice?

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

dmcaaaaA DMCA take-down notice is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to have your copyright protected materials removed from a website hosting company servers, or a search index on Yahoo, Google, or Bing. The first thing you need to know about how to send a DMCA notice is that you must be the copyright owner in order to send the notice. The copyright owner is typically the person who put their fingers to the keyboard, their finger to the click button on the camera, or their pen to paper. The person who is the author of the work is most often the copyright owner. Sometimes the copyright owner will license or sign their interest to an employer or third party which may then have the impact of transferring the copyright to someone who is not the author.

The next thing you need to understand about how to send a DMCA take-down notice is who to send it to. As noted above, any third party who is

a service provider with a DMCA copyright policy is potentially a target for a DMCA notice letter. So, for instance, the company

hosting the website is often the primary DMCA notice target. People don’t realize they can also send a DMCA notice to Google, Yahoo, and Bing in order to have their materials removed from the search index. That often gets the job done since the infringing material doesn’t come back on search.

You must strictly follow the DMCA take-down policy and rules set forth by the third party provider in order to successfully remove copyright protected materials from the internet. If a provider does not have a DMCA policy, then they may not have immunity from copyright infringement claims. This means you could send a copyright infringement threat letter directly to that third party provider unprotected by DMCA immunity provisions.

An experienced DMCA attorney can help you understand how to send a DMCA take-down notice, who to send it to and what to expect by way of response. Understanding how to send a DMCA notice correctly will save you a lot of time and money down the road.

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Have You Been Accused of Copyright Infringement: What Precautions Should You Take to Avoid Being Accused

Thursday, October 10th, 2013


Matt: Hi, it’s Matt Plessner, and welcome to another installment of Copyright Law Radio. Today we are going to be talking about something that has kind of been a controversy on and off for quite some time. A while back in the earl 2000′s, sites came up like Napster, Morpheus and Grokster and stuff like that where you could download music for free. And of course, many artists didn’t like this and started pressing charges against even individuals. Now, stuff like this is still going on with certain sites and people are getting persecuted for this. We’re going to be talking about how you could avoid having this happen, and if it does happen to you, how does it happen, first of all, and what can be done about it most importantly. To talk to us about this today, we’re speaking with Attorney At Law Mark Clark from the Traverse Legal office of Traverse City, MI. Mark, thanks again for joining us.

Mark: You’re welcome, Matt, it’s always a pleasure to be here with you.


Matt: Now, if this happens to you, let’s just talk about how it happens. How does it happen, first of all?


Mark: Well Matt, being accused of copyright infringement can happen in a number of different ways. In the earlier days, as you were talking about, somebody could be accused of copyright infringement from either illegally downloading music or even illegally downloading a movie, say through Bit Torrent or a similar site. And you might get a, or receive a, threatening letter if they’ve identified you, and you might even, in earlier days, have been sued individually as an example to other to stay away from it. But what is happening currently is that the artists and the attorneys who represent them are no longer simply filing lawsuits against a named individual or an IP address, and including just a single individual. What they are dong is what is known now in the industry as filing suits by the copyright trolls, or “copyright trolling.”  And this envisions that a law firm or an attorney on behalf of a recording artist or a movie studio, for instance, will go after and identify IP addresses that have illegally downloaded a song or a movie and gathered a number of IP addresses in one jurisdiction and file suit against a “John Doe,” called a “John Doe Lawsuit,” identifying maybe 10, 20, 100 or more IP addresses. And then what they’ll do is to send a subpoena out to the cable company or internet service provider as the case may be and say, “Who’s on the account for this IP address?” And then, at a later stage, you’ll receive a letter as the IP account holder saying “we’ve identified you as somebody we believe has downloaded a movie,” and they will go ahead and say “we’re going to name you by name in this lawsuit unless you pay us X amount of money to resolve these claims.” And again, the industry calls it “Copyright Troll Litigation,” and it’s really an extortion game, because you as the IP address holder may have valid defenses to say, first and foremost, “I didn’t do it, and I don’t know who did it, and someone who is using my IP address could have illegally downloaded it,” but the problem is that, in order to defend yourself, you’re going to have to pay a significant money in legal fees to do that.


Matt: So obviously, it sounds like the best way to prevent it is just not to do it. Pay for your music. And that, of course, is the lawful way, but take into account that this has happened to you. What should you do? What sort of action should you take besides, of course, get an attorney, what should be done?


Mark: Well, in fact, that’s usually the best course of action. The attorneys here at Traverse Legal are contacted almost daily by individuals who have been ensnared in these copyright troll lawsuits. And of course, the first question is, how do I resolve this? What we normally do for somebody who has been identified and threatened to be named as a defendant in one of these copyright infringement downloading lawsuits is to identify any and all defenses, and then what we’re able to do is to as experienced copyright infringement attorneys is to contact the attorneys who filed the suit and to attempt to extricate them from these lawsuits for less than they otherwise might be obligated to pay in order to do it on their own. What will happen, Matt, is that they will be contacted and a price for resolving the issue will range in the neighborhood of five to ten thousand dollars in order skip the hassle of trying to defend oneself, oftentimes because we can identify valid defenses and other factors that would warrant mitigation of the issues were oftentimes able to extricate these folks from their copyright litigation from anywhere 1500 and 3,000 dollars, which unfortunately, is a small price to pay in order extricate oneself from these copyright troll lawsuits.


Matt: Well this sounds like great advice, Mark, and one more thing that I was just kind of curious, and I’m sure other people are as well, is there a certain number of songs that you would have to download, like for example, if you download a hundred songs versus if you just download one song, does that make you any more or less likely to get trolled, to get a lawsuit put on you.


Mark: I think the answer is no. Because even a single download can justify a claim by a copyrighted song or movie of a hundred fifty thousand dollars per violation. So even one violation results in a potentially significant claim by the artist. However, oftentimes, the potential clients will indicated that they had an opportunity in advance of the lawsuit after receiving a threat letter to resolve the issue for less than a hundred dollars, and it was only after they had ignored that initial letter that they receive the lawsuit. So, there is an opportunity, in some cases, to extricate yourself for an extortion payment, if you will, of a hundred dollars, rather than more money. What I would caution you, though, is this: that if you have downloaded more than one song or movie, you will be repeatedly paying the hundred dollars. So depending upon how much you have illegally downloaded, it may not make sense to respond to those letters and give your credit card and pay one hundred dollars when you’ve done this twenty, thirty, forty, [or] fifty times because you’ll keep getting the letters and they’ll keep charging you the hundred dollars in order to keep yourself out of the lawsuit. In case where you have multiple downloads, it may make sense actually to ignore those and actually get into the point where you are sued and require some attorney representation in order to get out for a reasonable fee.


Matt: Well Mark, thanks a lot for joining us and talking with us about this. I know this hits home to a lot of people here. And again, Mark, look forward to talking with you more in the future and thanks again….and this is Matt Plessner again speaking for Copyright Law Radio.


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Cease and Desist Letter Dos and Don’ts: A Copyright Attorney’s Perspective

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

You think someone is infringing your copyright. You see that they’ve posted something that belongs to you on the Internet, either a picture or a photograph or a piece of art or a literary work or a design, and you believe that a cease and desist letter should be sent. Continue reading Cease and Desist Letter Dos and Don’ts: A Copyright Attorney’s Perspective »

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Bikram Yoga Does Not Own Copyright on Hot Yoga Poses

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Traverse Copyright Law has represented multiple defendants sued by Choudhury Bikram and the Bikram Yoga College alleging copyright infringement. Bikram Yoga has sued other studios over the years for offering Hot Yoga variations of the Bikram Yoga Method. In 2012, the United States Copyright Office issued a letter indicating that the previously issued copyright to Bikram for its yoga pose sequence was issued in error. Once the United States Copyright Office abandoned its allowance of the Bikram copyright, it was only a question of time before courts would soon follow. Continue reading Bikram Yoga Does Not Own Copyright on Hot Yoga Poses »

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Someone Stole My Website Content: Copyright Implications.

Friday, August 17th, 2012

The first thing you need to understand when answering the question, “What can I do if someone steals my website content?” is you need to understand that these are copyright infringement issues that are governed by United States Copyright Law. If someone takes your website content and reposts it on their web pages, that can be for several reasons. What we see, as copyright law attorneys who see this kind of website scraping going on every day, there are a variety of different approaches that can be used in order to deal with the copyright problem. However, it really depends on who you’re dealing with.

Continue reading Someone Stole My Website Content: Copyright Implications. »

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Protecting Your Company from Copyright Infringement on the Internet

Monday, June 25th, 2012

What is a copyright? Well, a copyright is any original work of authorship that is unique enough that you can actually have rights in. So, obviously, if you developed a website and generated a lot of content for that website, you have copyright protection in that website. If you designed a logo or a design for your website, you could have copyright protection in that design for your website.

Continue reading Protecting Your Company from Copyright Infringement on the Internet »

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What Is Copyright Infringement?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Copyright infringement is the copying of the creative works of authorship of another that results in the violation of the rights secured to that author under federal law. These rights, guaranteed by § 106 of the act, consist of the right to reproduce, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies, to perform publicly, to display publicly, or to perform via digital audio transmission the copyrighted work. Copyright protection arises once the work is “fixed in a tangible medium of expression,” and copyright registration provides additional benefits, such as the ability to file a lawsuit in federal court and increased damages awards.

If you feel you’ve been the victim of copyright infringement, contact one of our copyright attorney’s today—our internet lawyers are ready to help.

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Events & Conferences:
  • International Trademark Association 2011, San Francisco, California
  • Cyber Law Summit 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Game Developers Conference 2011, San Francisco, California
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Recent Attorney Speaking Engagements:
  • South By Southwest 2010 SXSW Interactive Conference, Austin, Texas
  • West LegalEdcenter Midwestern Law Firm Management, Chicago, Illinois
  • Internet Advertising under Part 255, Altitude Design Summit, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Online Defamation and Reputation Management, News Talk 650 AM, The Cory Kolt Show, Canada Public Radio Saskatewan Canada
  • Alternative Fee Structures, Center for Competitive Management, Jersey City, New Jersey
  • FTC Part 255 Advertising Requirements, Mom 2.0 Conference, Houston, Texas
  • Webmaster Radio, Cybersquatting & Domain Monetization, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Notable Complex Litigation Cases Handled By Our Lawyers:
  • Trademark Infringement, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Cybersquatting Law, Trademark Law and Dilution Detroit, Michigan
  • Internet Defamation & Online Libel Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Trade Secret Theft, Chicago, Illinois
  • Cybersquatting Law, Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act Miami, Florida
  • Cybersquatting Law, Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act Eastern Dist. of Virginia, Alexandria
  • Stolen Domain Name, Orlando, Florida
  • Commercial Litigation, Tampa, Florida
  • Copyright Infringement and Cybersquatting Law, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Mass Tort Litigation, Los Angeles, California
  • Stolen Domain Name, Detroit, Michigan
  • Adwords Keyword Trademark Infringement, Los Angeles, California
  • Trademark Infringement & Unfair Competition, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Non-Compete Agreement and Trade Secret Theft, Detroit, Michigan
  • Mass Tort, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Mass Tort, Tyler, Texas
  • Insurance Indemnity, New York
  • Copyright Infringement, Detroit, Michigan