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Is Copyright Infringement Illegal?

Is Copyright Infringement Illegal?

Copyright is a type of intellectual property rights. Such rights gives the owners/creators exclusive rights over their creations. How, they only get to enjoy such rights for a limited period of time.
One infringes on copyrighted works when they violate the exclusive rights of the owner. An infringer will not take permission from the owner when it is necessary. They may reproduce the material, displaying or even performing the protected works. All these actions amount to infringing.

How do you know if someone is infringing your work?

You have to provide solid proof while claiming that someone infringed your work. But how do you prove that a considerable amount of your copyrighted work has been infringed? How do you show that their final product is the same as your copyrighted work?
In such cases, you must check for the quality of their work. The quantity and quality of your work that they have included in theirs is also important. Let us consider that they have included and considerable amount of your work. However, such work is not original and that information is available for everyone to use. We cannot term that as copyright infringement.

Let us also see a case where they have taken a certain amount of your work that makes up a crucial part of their project. We are assuming that such information was an original work by you. Such an act will lead to copyright infringement.
Hence, it is important to check both the quantity and quality of work when you are hoping to prove infringement of copyright.

What should you do if your work is being infringed?

After due investigation, you learn that someone is infringing your copyrighted work. Immediately, with the help of your lawyer, you send a notice to the infringer. A notice for copyright infringement is like any other legal notice. It contains a notice for cease and desist. The notice should be sent before claiming civil or criminal remedy.

It is a legal notification that forbids an individual from performing specific activities. Such acts are the ones that infringe on another person’s legal rights. The plaintiff may use it to show in the court proof that they had tried to avoid litigation.
The contents of such a legal notice is as follows –

1. The names of both parties.

2. What is the copyrighted work?

3. When was the work created?

4. When was the work first published?

5. How was the work violated?

6. The way the infringed party should be compensated (payment of a fine)

7. What the infringing party must do to ensure that the work of the copyright holder must no longer be infringed.

You may issue a takedown notice is you notice your work being infringed over the internet. Read more about it here.

What are the Remedial Measures available for copyright infringement?

Suppose the infringer does not adhere to the demands of the legal notice. What can you do then? The Copyright Act of 1957, allows you certain remedies you can avail.

1. Civil Remedies

a. Interlocutory Injunction Order

The order prohibits the infringer from doing anything that might lead to infringement.

b. Financial Remedies

Sections 55 and 58 of the Act allows the holder 3 remedies. The infringer should hand over all the profits they earned during the infringement. They should pay compensatory damages, or pay damages calculated according to the value of the infringement.

c. Anton Pillar Order

It prevents the infringer from selling or destroying pirated items. The copyright owner can examine the infringer’s premises and seize assets for safekeeping. The infringer must reveal the names of all infringing items’ suppliers and buyers.

d. Mareva Injunction

The court gets temporary custody of infringing goods. This preventing any chances of disposal. ensures that the infringing party does not dispose off any of their infringed goods.

e. Norwich Pharmacal Order

The courts passes such an order to extract information from another party who is not a part of the trial.

2. Criminal Remedies

The Copyright Act of 1957 also grants criminal prosecution against the infringing party. If found guilty, the offender faces a minimum of 6 months in prison and a maximum of 3 years in prison. They must as well pay a penalty fee of Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 lakhs. The court may order a search and seizure of infringing items. The criminal action conducted against copyright infringement includes such orders. The actual copyright owners receive the infringing goods into their custody.

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