Tips For Handling Copyright Demands
The best free legal advice we can give a person who has received a copyright demand letter starts and ends with “consult an attorney." Here are a few legal tips on copyright claims that your attorney may use or the possible advice that he or she may give you.
- Ask for a copy of the copyright registration certificate (they cannot sue you unless they have one or go get one – unless the image was first published outside the US)
- If you do not have a license to use the image, your attorney may instruct you to remove all uses from your site (even social media). Continued use can result in more damages.
- Ask for a power of attorney to prove they have the right to represent “their client”
- Make sure they are a real law firm. Unless they are an attorney, they cannot sue you on behalf of the copyright holder.
- You attorney may instruct you not give them additional reasons to target your case by boasting about how much money you have, being rude or writing things about them online… all of that is asking for trouble.
- Your attorney may instruct you not post anything in forums or comments as copyright holders can get court orders to view email addresses and IP addresses.
- Read this article on Fair Use and see if your use qualifies.
- Be careful what you put in writing (emails) or on recorded calls as it could be used against you in court to increases the damages or paint you in an unfavorable light
- Do not ignore this issue, ask them for more time and stall them if you have to, sometimes they just go away.
- If you in-line linked to the image, let them know. Though it can be challenged, caselaw in some circuits protects some users who in-line link. Your attorney can tell you if it applies to you.
- If they do sue you, do not let ignore it. Copyright law suits can result in a default judgment, which could result in garnishments and seizing of assets.
Get an attorney who specializes in handling copyright claims in your state by filling the form bellow. If an attorney cannot be recommended for your area, search Avvo.com. If you cannot afford an attorney, contact a legal aid society in your county. Any legal advice on this site is only intended for attorneys.
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Read more about the more notorious law firms:
– Sanders Law Firm
– Higbee & Associates
– Liebowitz Law Firm