Legal Advice 

Inculpating Infringement of Authorship Rights

In the digital landscape of the Internet as it has arisen in the 21st century, pirated material being distributed without the express consent of the author has become a global epidemic. There is a struggle to understand the ramifications of this by the public at large while legal authorities attempt to stem this outbreak according to the established laws of authorship. In no way has this put a damper on the efforts of the world population to obtain and distribute such works freely. With the ease of access and anonymity of dissemination over the international platform provided by the electronic sharing systems online, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to prevent, and even identify, the responsible parties. As a result, the workload of enforcers and prosecutors is expanding at an alarming rate. This dilemma has been a growing concern to those creative individuals and entities producing original content.

At some point, the question of copyright damages becomes the focal point of recourse for stolen media. The argument of the general adversaries to a restricted right to share information rely upon the concept of its being a matter of suppression. However, the regulations set forth regarding ownership have been in existence for decades before the advent of the Worldwide Web. Thus, it is a case of infringement upon the rights of the creators and not of those who choose to circumvent these rules. Thereby, these occurrences are clearly a situation of wrongful acts perpetrated against the originating artists who first recorded the product on any medium.

Damages are enforcedly due when the owner of a given production has not given their permission to the holder of a copy of their work to display, duplicate, or otherwise distribute such to others. Additionally, a single version is not in violation if it is solely the property of one person. It is then considered to be the personal possession of that particular being. Exemptions to this are when it is verified that the article in question has come into their custody through the illegal sharing of another party. Some things this protection is not provided for are methods, ideas, processes, or discoveries irrespective of any means used to record them. Items that are covered under the copyright law include, but are not limited to:

  • dramatic
    • musical
    • choreographic
    • sculptural
    • architectural
    • audiovisual
    • sound recordingThe United States Government is not eligible under this provision for any of its works, but it can hold copyrighted works by request or when assigned to it by their owner. Governments, schools, and libraries also have the right to use copies of protected content as stipulated by fair use guidelines. Essentially what it breaks down to is that the private citizen requires authorization to pass a secured work on to others. Entities that are of an academic or educational foundation are not required to receive consent to be permitted, or provide, access to the same. The surest policy to not violate these standards is to leave it where it was found.

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