Day: February 16, 2024

Incentives for Pursuing Copyright Infringement Litigation

Copyright Act 504

The ability to claim statutory damages provides copyright holders with a strong incentive to pursue infringement litigation. Statutory damages can amount to $750-$30,000 per infringement.

Indirect profits are based on the infringer’s gross revenue and are awarded only to the extent that they are greater than the actual damages suffered by the copyright owner. The infringer can reduce this award by producing evidence of deductible expenses.

Statutory Damages

Under copyright law, a successful plaintiff may recover statutory damages. Statutory damages are intended to compensate the copyright owner for infringement. These damages are generally awarded per work and in a range between $250 and $10,000. However, a single award may be made for all works for which one infringer is liable or for all of the infringing acts committed by two or more jointly and severally liable infringers. A defendant may reduce an award of statutory damages by showing that his profits resulted from factors other than the infringed work or by producing evidence of his deductible expenses.

Courts have wide discretion in determining the amount of damages to award, restrained only by the statutory maximum and minimum. Courts consider a variety of factors in deciding what is just and reasonable under the circumstances, including the market value of the uncollected license fee. A work is not considered a compilation for purposes of determining statutory damages, and the elements of value come from each component’s independent economic life rather than its assembly into the compilation.

Indirect Profits

Indirect profits are the additional profits that a copyright holder can recover beyond their actual damages. Under the statute, a copyright holder must prove that the defendant’s gross revenues are related to the infringing work. The defendant can then reduce the plaintiff’s award by proving deductible expenses and what portion of the total profit was attributable to factors other than the infringing work.

For example, a court could award Susan actual damages for the infringement of her handgun chapter if Rachel sold her book for less than the normal price. Then the court would be able to award Susan any gross proceeds from Rachel’s book sales that were a result of the infringement.

However, it is important to remember that the statutory language allows copyright holders to elect between recovering actual damages and statutory damages under SS 504(c). This means that a court should consider imposing a procedural rule that requires copyright owners to demonstrate their actual damages before obtaining statutory awards.

Innocent Infringers

Innocent infringers are immunized from paying statutory damages if they can establish that they did not know that their actions violated copyright. However, proving this is difficult. The defendant must not only be unaware of their infringing acts but they must also have no reason to believe that their actions constituted copyright infringement.

This defence is not available to all alleged infringers. The court will consider the defendant’s mindset and intent when determining their innocence. It is important to consult with a copyright attorney who is experienced in this defence.

If a court decides that a defendant is an innocent infringer, they may only be liable to pay actual damages and account of profits. In addition to these monetary remedies, the copyright holder may also be entitled to injunctive relief. This is an excellent way to stop any future infringements and prevent other parties from exploiting the work in the same way that the alleged infringer did.

Omission of Notice

Before the United States ratified the Berne Convention and made copyright notice optional, it was mandatory. There were also strict rules and corrective measures in case of omissions and errors in the notice.

However, the omission of a work from the register shall not affect recovery of actual or statutory damages for any act committed before such omission occurred. In addition, the omission of a name or date in a notice does not invalidate the copyright.

The registries of copyrights are required to publish a list of all deposited works and, upon request, provide copies to any person who shows a reasonable interest in the work or whose application for registration contains such information as would enable the Register to identify the work. Furthermore, a certificate of registration bears evidentiary weight in judicial proceedings. However, if the registrar determines that the work does not constitute copyrightable subject matter or that the claim is invalid for any other reason, he or she may refuse registration.

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