Someone Stole Copyrighted Work: What Should You Do?

In the past few decades, billions of individuals have been using the internet for their everyday lives. This makes the internet one of the most invaluable hubs for data and information. That said, the internet is a treasure trove of user-generated content and data. Content can come in articles, research journals, images, and other media types that can interact with other users.

Since there are billions of users online, many types of content get engagements and impressions worldwide. However, there are times when individuals can easily save images, pirate software, and copy content from articles word-for-word. Many of these activities are illegal, significantly if they benefit the individual who has just stolen your content.

Many businesses have suffered millions of dollars worth of losses from stolen content. A specific study states that the software industry has lost billions of dollars from software piracy alone.

Let’s face it; nobody wants to have their works reproduced without their permission. Not only is this frustrating, but this can give someone a chance to claim your work as theirs. If you are certain that someone is using your work for their end, take a step back and do some research. Laws regarding copyrights are a bit complex than usual.

So what are some legal steps that you need to consider when someone has just stolen original content that’s yours? What should you do? Here are some vital strategies that you can believe can help ensure your intellectual properties are correctly used.

Determine if Your Work Is Protected

You need to be sure that the content that you’ve made is yours. But right before we discuss what the facts are, let’s first know what copyright laws are. These are essentially laws the protect individuals that are expressing their creativity. This means that this is viable as long as the content is original and fixed.

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However, this doesn’t protect abstract ideas and facts. Let’s say that you’re telling someone about a fantasy book that you’re planning on writing. After a few months, the person you’ve said the idea to has written a fantasy book with the same premise. Although it might seem like they have just stolen your statement, this is not entirely true. Since it was only spoken, it was not an expression that’s set in stone.

Another vital factor to think about is if you are creating content under particular employment. Some contracts can explicitly say that you do not own any ownership of the copyright. Technically, this means that content such as articles, videos, and images created underemployment are owned by the company.

So if you know someone infringing content but does not have any ownership of it, convince your organization to sue the infringing individual.

Get Professional Help

Probably one of the most effective ways of ensuring that you are on the safe side of the law is by having professional help. It’s best to get the help of legal experts as early as possible since you need to know what types of documents to retrieve that can help you in your case.

Fortunately, you don’t have to look far since professional intellectual property or IP attorneys are well-versed in various legal cases related to copyrights, intellectual property, litigation, and trademarks. Not only can this ensure that you’re in a good legal position, but this can yield the best results.

Apply Fair Use Defense

Finally, another crucial factor to check is the fair use defense. Although it’s not related to law, you can always contact the other party to stop using your work if it’s non-infringing. Being able to meet a middle ground with the other party can help take it down. It’s crucial to remember that legal battles can be costly and require a good amount of time and energy. When you’ve reached an agreement with the other party, you’ve effectively averted legal problems.

You need to consider various factors if you plan to press charges against an individual who has stolen copyrighted content. If you are quite certain that an individual has copied your content and used it to their own ends without asking for your permission, then getting legal professional help is the best course of action.

Using copyrighted works and intellectual properties are serious offenses. When you’re placed time and effort into your work, you should ensure that copyright laws protect them. Still, take a step back and think things through right before you make any final decisions. Laws regarding copyright are a bit tricky. Having the right documentation can help your case.

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