In Texas, authors and publishers obtain a copyright from the U.S. Copyright Office to protect published works. The copyright gives the author full authority over the work and designates them as the owner legally. Once the copyright is filed, no one can use the materials without authorization. A local vendor provides IP protection that helps owners secure these works.
What is Copyright Infringement?
Copyright infringement is any use of materials that are protected by a copyright. The crime involves the reproduction, distribution, or display of the materials for financial gains. Perpetrators who violate the federal intellectual property laws could face hefty fines and even jail or prison sentences for the violations.
What Action is Taken Against Perpetrators?
The owner has the right to report the violators to the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The outlet in which the materials are used determines what department of the agency manages the report. For example, if the materials are published online, the cyber investigations unit manages the copyright infringement case. Additionally, the owner of the intellectual property has the right to file a civil claim against the perpetrator. The civil case could include defamation and other tort-based claims.
When can Others use Materials Protected By a Copyright?
Another party can use materials protected by a copyright when the owner gives them explicit permission. A contract is drawn up that defines how the new party can use the materials and imposes limitations on use. If the authorized user doesn’t follow the terms of the contract, they are in violation of federal law and the contract is void.
How can Owners Find Unauthorized Use of Their Work?
Beneficial software is available to help copyright owners identify any instances in which their materials are used. It searches for any instance in which the materials are used and generates an alert. The unauthorized user receives a request for the removal of the materials.
In Texas, owners of materials protected by a copyright have the legal right to enforce their rights in court. Perpetrators who fail to follow federal laws could face prosecution for using the materials without permission. Intellectual property owners who need more answers about protection contact a consultant now.