Copyright infringement discussion

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Copyright infringement discussion

In case of infringement of the copyright, the court may give an injunction ordering a company to be shut down if it proves that the allegations of the infringement are legal as stated by Lime wire the file trading service, (2010). The music industry is the one that has been mostly affected by the infringement law as seen in the case of Lime wire. The company had been downloading, uploading, searching, trading and distributing software music from other music companies without their permission. The Lime wire company said that they were ready to collaborate with other music industries and to make changes after the ruling was made. The company has been found liable and it is to pay for the damages depending on the decisions of the court. Though the court has issued an injunction, the company was willing to negotiate with the music companies with the aim of obtaining a licence that will help them do a legal business without infringing the copyright law. They only have to obtain permission and the licence for the work.

Copyright infringement is referred to as the use of unauthorised work that is under copyright.  No one is allowed by law to reproduce a copyrighted work without the legal permission from the writer or the author.  Distributing of the copyrighted work, performing it or displaying it publicly is infringement of the copyright which is also referred to as piracy. Author in the copyright law is the person who comes up with the original idea in a certain work. The work may be in music or in artwork. The author is always the owner of the copyright but he has freedom of signing an agreement to give the copyright to another person. The agreement is always in writing and it can be entitled to another person or even an entity. The authors are required to register their work with the relevant bodies.

To register their work they need a copy of the work that is supposed to be registered. If the copy of the work they are submitting is published, they are required to submit two copies but if the work they are submitting is not published they are required to submit one copy. The copy that is submitted is usually called a deposit.  All the authors who register with the copyright act are supposed to use a copyright notice on their work. The copyright notice informs the world of the ownership of the work. It is a symbol that contains the year that the material was published and the name of the owner of the copyright.

According to Jeff Koon lawsuits, (2011), the copyright law does not clearly protect all the issues and there are limited property rights on the authors work. There are some things that are not protected by the copyright law. The examples of such works that are not protected is like the short phrases, the names, the titles, slogans, familiar designs and symbols that are widely used.  Koon filed a lawsuit against Park Life because of a balloon dog, but the court accepted that it was not infringement but the symbol was familiar and that the idea of making a balloon was not owned by anybody. Also things like ideas and all the processes and the procedures that are used in coming up with a certain work are not covered by the copyright law. We also learn from the story of Koon that other works that neither are nor protected are works without original authors. The example of such works is the work that contains information that is usually common and the standard things that are taken from public documents or any other source that is common.

A person or an entity that infringes a copyright is liable for the actual damages and the profits that the owner of the copyright might have lost together with the profits that he has received from the infringement. The infringer of the copyright is also liable to the statutory damages.  In determining the profits that have been made by the infringer, the copyright owner who has been infringed is supposed to give and provide evidence of the revenues. The person who infringed the copyright is also supposed to prove that there are deductable expenses that are supposed to be deducted from the revenues that they received.

Statutory damages means that the person who has been infringed can choose to recover the damages that were incurred before the final judgement.  The amount recovered is not always the actual profits and damages but it is the amount that the court may decide to be just as Samuelson and Wheatland, (2009), suggested. The decision of the court depends on the circumstances that the infringement of the copyright was done. If the court finds out that the infringement was done wilfully, the award is raised to an amount not above $150,000 and if the court proves that the infringer did not intend to do it and that he or she was not knowing that they were infringing the work, then the award may be reduced but it must not be below $200.

Copyright infringement can also happen in production of comedies and videos as Suit Accuses ‘South Park’ of Copyright Infringement, (2010), states. The company called South Park produced comedies where they used a web video as their source of material. The comedy they produced was so close to the web videos that it was concluded that there was a copyright infringement. The web video was produced by the Brown mark Films in 2007 and South park produced a derivative work without the permission from the owner of the work.

Copyright infringement can also happen or be experienced in the case of photographic images. According to Shepard Fairey and The A.P. Settle Legal Dispute, (2011), Mr. Fairey was sued by the associated press for using the photographs that were taken by the press as a basis to prepare a poster. The photograph was of Obama’s head looking up. The artists are not supposed to use the work of the photographers without licence from them. They can only use the work of the artist if they are using the fair use doctrine. The doctrine of fair use allows reproduction of a particular work if the use of the work is considered to be fair. Some of the fair use is like when the person reproducing the work is doing it for teaching, making a comment, criticising, researching or reporting of the news. If the work is to be used for commercial purposes, then the work cannot be considered to be of a fair use. As stated by Schlager, (2008), copyright law has exemptions that the teachers enjoy when they are in class. The teachers are supposed to know the specific areas in which they are exempted. In producing of the copyrighted work the teacher relies on the fair use doctrine. The teacher is also allowed to record music that has been recorded from a student for the purpose of teaching.

The copyright law has not put a clear distinction between infringement of the copyright and the fair use as Carson, (2002), puts it. The fair use can also be applied in the materials that have not been copyrighted formally but they are protected by the common law state. The numbers of lines, words or the sentences that may be taken from another work without the permission of the owner or without license are not stated.   A transformative use of the photograph is allowed in the copyright law. Mr. Fairey claimed that he did not get any profits from the sale of the posters and so there was nothing he was liable to pay as the profits made. The association press had an agreement with Mr, Fairey to settle the matter using own financial terms that were confidential.

The infringement of the copyright also applies to the soft wares that are bought by individuals. According to Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal, (2011), people who buy software materials are not supposed to sell them as second hand because the material does not belong to them. The case of Vernor v. Autodesk was presented to court where the accused had bought a software material and then sold it and there were restrictions of such actions. For a person to sell such soft wares, they are supposed to get a licence agreement from the owners of the materials which are the first sale doctrine. Original software is only supposed to be sold with the authority from the owner.


Carson. B. M., (2002), legally speaking: fair use and the common law of copyrights. Periodical.  Vol. 14 Issue 1, p60-62, 3p

Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal, (2011), Vernor v. Autodesk : Software and the First Sale Doctrine under Copyright Law. Academic Journal. Vol. 23 Issue 3, p7-10, 4p

Judge Tells LimeWire, the File-Trading Service, to Disable Its Software. 2010. Viewed on 1. April. 2011.

Samuelson. P. And Wheatland. T., (2009), statutory damages in copyright law: a remedy in need of reform. Academic journal. Vol. 51 Issue 2, p439-511, 72p

Suit Accuses ‘South Park’ of Copyright Infringement. 2010. Viewed on 2.April.2011

Schlager. K., (2008), Copyright law: What music teachers need to know. Periodical. Vol. 15 Issue 5, p38-41; , 4p,

Shepard Fairey and The A.P. Settle Legal Dispute. 2011. Viewed on 2. April 2011.

What Can the Jeff Koons Lawsuit Teach Us About Copyright Law? A Guest.  2011. Viewed on 1.April. 2011.Post

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