As a business owner, you need to be aware of copyright law and how it affects your company. Copyright infringement can happen unintentionally – but that can still lead to costly lawsuits.
What steps should you take to avoid accidentally using someone else’s intellectual property, and what should you do if someone accuses you of using their copyrighted work?
Why is it important to avoid copyright infringement?
Copyright infringement is a serious matter because it deprives the copyright holder of their exclusive rights to use and distribute their work. It can be from copying or creating a derivative of someone’s work without their permission or using their work without giving them credit. As a result, copyright holders have the right to sue infringers for damages.
You can take a few simple steps to avoid it from happening in your business:
- Make sure that you have permission to use any copyrighted materials. If you’re unsure, err on the side of caution and get permission from the copyright holder.
- Keep documentation of all the creative materials you use in your business and be clear about ownership rights for all contracted work.
- Educate all your employees on copyright law and the penalties for infringement.
- Put procedures in place to ensure that all content used in your business is properly licensed or created internally.
- Consider using software to help you track intellectual property rights and ensure compliance with copyright law.
If someone accuses you of infringing on their copyright, it is essential to take the accusation seriously. However, there are a few defenses that you can raise.
Working with someone who understands intellectual property laws can help you understand your rights and defenses and work with you to develop the best strategy for your case.