FB pixel

Copyright Infringement

We are the Australian copyright lawyers businesses trust

Copyright infringement and breach of copyright need to be taken seriously. The faster you put a copyright infringer on notice of your rights the easier it is to stop them infringing your rights. You need to move quickly so that the person does not start to feel he/she has a right to use your works.

Putting an infringer on notice of your rights in copyright works also puts you in a better position to claim additional damages for infringement. Additional damages are discretionary but awarded where the infringer has flagrantly and willfully infringed your rights. If you put a person on notice of your rights (through a rights notification letter) and the person does not stop infringing your copyright rights, then you can use that notification as evidence of their willful behaviour.

You should take care when putting other traders on notice of your copyright rights as the Copyright Act contains provisions against making groundless or unjustified threats. If you send unjustified threats, then you might find yourself having to defend yourself in Court. Always obtain the opinion of a qualified copyright lawyer before sending any threats.

Copyright registration is not possible in Australia, but in some other countries, you are required to register before taking action to enforce your copyright rights.

What is Copyright Right Infringement?

Copyright Infringement occurs when a third party uses copyright-protected material without the permission of the copyright owner. A substantial part must be taken and no defences must apply for infringement to be found.

The copyright holder can transfer rights (known as an assignment) or authorise others to us the protected works. However, if there is no legal transfer of the rights, or an authorisation, the use of someone’s copyright works without permission can infringe the rights of the owner.

Copyright is deemed infringed when:

  • Exercise Of Exclusive Rights - Somebody other than the copyright holder reproduces or presents copyright material without their permission and no defences apply.
  • Authorising An Infringement - A copyright right is also infringed when a third party, without authorisation, performs any act that only the copyright owner is authorised to do like distributing copyright material or ordering someone else to make a copy.
  • Duplicating A Portion Of The Work - Copyright infringement can also occur when a portion of the copyrighted material is copied and used with something unique and presented to the public, without authorisation. The requirement of a substantial part to be taken is not a reference to size, but rather quality.

At EAGLEGATE, we have immense experience handling copyright infringement matters. If you think someone is illegally reproducing your work, or distributing copies of your works without your permission, you must hire our copyright lawyer to protect your works.

We can help clients determine whether their works are infringed, whether they are available for public use or protected.

When can a person use your copyright works without infringing your copyright rights?

There are only a few instances when someone else can use your creative work without violating copyright rights. Some of them are listed below:

  • In case of exceptions, called fair dealing, Copyright Law permits the reproduction or use of copyrighted material in a manner, which, otherwise would have amounted to infringement of copyright. Examples are -- the use of famous work by students for research, thesis and review.
  • The copyright owners have permitted the use of their works under a creative commons license.
  • The copyright holder provides a free license to the user upon request.

What is a letter of demand for breach of copyright?

You send a letter of demand for breach of copyright when you see someone using your copyrighted material without your permission. The purpose of the letter is to:

  • Let the person know they are using your copyrighted material and you would want them to stop then and there.
  • Explain how your rights are being violated by them.
  • List the way you plan on dealing with the situation.
  • Inform that if they fail to comply with the demands, you will take legal action against them.
  • Serve as evidence in the case the matter is dragged to court and you need to present evidence showing the receiver was informed about copyright infringement.

You don’t have to draft the letter of demand. We will draft the letters of demands and legal proceedings so you can focus on doing things that you do best.

Have any queries for us? Get in touch with us today!

Copyright Defences

Australia does not have general use exceptions to infringement of copyright. We do have express defences which can be relied upon only in some circumstances. We also have an innocent infringement defence, which is not simple to reply to. There may be other defences that apply to your situation.

If you need advice on a claim, call EAGLEGATE now.