|Copyright Infringement and Me|
Copyright Infringement and Me
Nov. 3rd, 2010 @ 11:14 pm
I'm going on the assumption that you didn't actually register the copyright in your article. If you had (and you have up to 5 years after initial publication to do so, but must do so before an infringement occurs), you'd be entitled to statutory damages of between $750 and $30,000, depending on circumstances. Without a registration, you have a more difficult fight, but still a potentially valid claim.
(Note: I am not an IP lawyer, but a publishing contracts and copyrights professional. The above is general information only, and not intended as legal advice.)
Is registration actually necessary? My (not-a-lawyer) understanding of the Berne Convention is that copyright is assumed to be inherent once a written work is created: registration might make proving authorship a smidge easier, but that's about it.
(And of course, the fact that the idiot admitted
to lifting the article hopefully makes the question moot.)
Registration is not necessary for ownership of copyright. The author owns what they've written from the moment it is written down. However, registration is necessary to bring a suit in the U.S., since it clearly proves ownership of the work. You can't ask for statutory damages without registration, and statutory damages are often/usually higher than the actual damages in a case like this one.
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