The unfortunate fact is that copyright infringement is more common than you may think. It is never easy when you find out that someone has used the work that you put time effort and perhaps a lot of love into without giving you credit for it.
Your first reaction may be anger and you may feel like you need to lash out and demand payment or credit. All these are normal feelings especially if you have worked hard at your craft.
However, there are some measures that you can take to solve the issue amicably. Here is a look at your best options.
Take a Direct Approach
Most people often don’t mean to infringe on your rights. The first approach you should use is to ask the offender to remove your work.
Find their email address or their phone number and ask them in a civil way to remove your work from their website or product. This non-hostile approach often works.
A Cease and Desist Letter
If the polite approach doesn’t work you may need to use the services of a talent lawyer. Your lawyer will issue a cease and desist letter.
Often just the threat of a lawsuit will be enough to stop the use of your work. You won’t be able to get paid for usage before you threatened a lawsuit but at least you will stop the unfair use of your work.
If it doesn’t work the first time then you can send a follow-up letter. If the infringement continues then the next step is to file a lawsuit. When you decide to file a lawsuit you need to properly assess your chances of winning.
This is because a lawsuit can be costly and if you do not win you may be out of a lot of money. You need to properly assess how much the work is worth and if you will be compensated enough to pay off your attorney and make a profit.
Get the ISP Taken Down
This is another measure you can take. You will need to send a letter to the internet service provider telling them your name and address. You will also need to send them a link to the infringing material.
Once your notice is received and reviewed then the internet service provider will remove or disable the site. This can get technical and it may be best to ask your attorney for help in dealing with this matter.
Getting the Credit You Deserve
The unfortunate fact is that there are many people out there who want to use creative work without giving credit for it. If you find that your copyright has been infringed upon you have a right to do something about it.
It is up to you to decide whether the case is worth pursuing. You need to ensure that if they don’t respond favorably to a civil request to take down your work that it is worth it to take legal action against them.
Thankfully though you may not need to take drastic action since most people will respond to a non-hostile request or a letter of warning from an attorney.