FAQ – Copyright Registration, Copyright Infringement Lawsuits

COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION: For answers to frequently asked questions on copyright registration, click here (courtesy of the U.S. Copyright office).


WHAT ARE THE RECOVERABLE DAMAGES FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT?  A copyright owner that proves an infringer is liable can recover (1) actual damages: the copyright owner’s actual damages suffered by the copyright owner and the infringer’s profits from the infringement; or more commonly, (2) statutory damages.  In general, statutory damages are $750 to $30,000 per infringement.  However, if it is proven the infringement was innocent, the award could go as low as $200 per infringement.  Or, if it is proven the infringement was willful, the award could be as high as $150,000 per infringement.  Costs and attorney’s fees are also potentially recoverable.

CAN AN OFFICER OF AN INFRINGING CORPORATION BE PERSONALLY LIABLE FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT?  If a corporation is liable for copyright infringement, it is possible for a corporate officer to be personally liable for such infringement if the officer directly participated in the infringement; actively induced, caused or materially contributed to the infringing activity; or had the right and ability to supervise the infringing conduct and had an obvious and direct financial interest in the infringing activity.  Therefore, officer/shareholders of smaller corporations that participate in the corporation’s operations should be aware they may face personal liability for copyright infringement.

For more on copyright infringement, click here (courtesy of the U.S. Copyright office).

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