Defenses to a Claim of Copyright Infringement - Explained
When is Use of a Copyrighted Work Okay?
If you still have questions or prefer to get help directly from an agent, please submit a request.
We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
- Marketing, Advertising, Sales & PR
- Accounting, Taxation, and Reporting
- Professionalism & Career Development
Law, Transactions, & Risk Management
Government, Legal System, Administrative Law, & Constitutional Law Legal Disputes - Civil & Criminal Law Agency Law HR, Employment, Labor, & Discrimination Business Entities, Corporate Governance & Ownership Business Transactions, Antitrust, & Securities Law Real Estate, Personal, & Intellectual Property Commercial Law: Contract, Payments, Security Interests, & Bankruptcy Consumer Protection Insurance & Risk Management Immigration Law Environmental Protection Law Inheritance, Estates, and Trusts
- Business Management & Operations
- Economics, Finance, & Analytics
What defenses are available to a copyright infringement action?
The following doctrines or laws provide a defense for an alleged copyright infringer:
Invalidity - The defendant may show that the owners copyright is invalid. Note: This generally arises in the context of the validity or scope of copyright licenses.
License - The defendant may demonstrate that she has a valid license. Note: This generally arises in the context of the validity or scope of copyright licenses.
Public Domain - The defendant may successfully argue that the work is in the public domain. Note: This includes works that are not subject to copyright and can longer be made subject to copyright. Since copyrights attach naturally, it generally means that the duration of the copyright has lapsed. A creator may also undertake steps to affirmatively place the copyright in the public domain.
Statute of Limitations - The defendant may argue that the statute of limitations for enforcement of an infringement action has run. Note: This includes situations where a party learns of an infringing use and does nothing to enforce the copyright against infringement within the statute of limitations. It would generally not apply to on-going infringement.
Accident - The defendant may claim unknowing or innocent infringement. This is not generally an available defense for commercial use of a copyrighted work. Note: This generally includes any incidental use for a non-commercial purpose.
Fair Use Doctrine - The fair use doctrine claims that there is a valid an legal use of the copyrighted work that does not infringe upon the holders rights. Examples of fair use may include the following uses: review of the material (such as critique or criticism); academic use (such as teaching the material or research); satire or other parody of the work; and news or public commentary.
Next Article: What is Fair Use of a Copyright? Back to: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
Do you agree that the above-listed scenarios should constitute a defense to a copyright infringement action? Why or why not? Can you think of any other situations that should be a defense or constitute fair use?
SuperBand is being sued by GreatBand for copyright infringement. GreatBand claims that SuperBand used the rhythm and some lyrics from its copyrighted song. What are some of the potential defenses that may be available to SuperBand?
- Intellectual Property Law (Intro)
- What is Intellectual Property?
- What is the purpose in granting intellectual property rights?
- What is required to capture or secure intellectual property rights?
- California Labor Code 2870
- What are Trade Secrets?
- Non-Disclosure Agreement
- Patents or patent rights?
- Letters Patent
- Primary types of patents?
- What Can I Patent?
- Requirements for a valid patent?
- Can your Invention be Patented?
- What is a Patentability Search?
- When is a Patentability Search Necessary?
- Why is a Patent Search Important?
- Requirements for a design patent?
- How to Do a Design Patent Search
- Cost of a Design Patent
- Requirements for a utility patent?
- Why Do You Need a Utility Patent?
- Plant Patent?
- Process for securing patent rights?
- Patent Search
- Basics of Doing a Patent Search
- 5 Rules for Effective Patent Searches
- What are Patent Databases?
- Tools for Patent Searches
- DIY Patent Search
- Understanding Patent Keyword Searches
- Patent Searches for Software
- Doing a European Patent Search
- WIPO Patent Search
- Cost of Doing a Patent Search
- Patent Search vs Patent Analysis
- Structure of a Patent
- Patent Filing Date
- Patent Attorney
- Do You Need a Patent Lawyer?
- Applying for Design patent
- Provisional Patent?
- Applying for Provisional Patent
- Doing a Provisional Patent Search
- How to Draw Up a Provisional Patent
- Converting a Provisional Patent to a Non-Provisional Patent
- What Does Patent Pending Mean?
- Process for enforcing ones patent rights?
- Patent Infringement
- Patent Troll
- What is a Trademark?
- Types of trademark?
- Requirements to capture trademark rights?
- Distinctiveness requirement for a Trademark?
- Determining whether a trademark is sufficient distinctive?
- What is Federal Trademark Registration?
- Conducting Trademark Search
- Should I Conduct a Trademark Search?
- Trademark Application
- Drawing a Trademark
- Filing for federal trademark registration?
- Protections of trademark rights under state law?
- Primary reasons for rejecting a trademark application?
- Common trademark designations?
- Trademark infringement?
- Enforce trademark rights?
- Demonstrate infringement of a trademark?
What is a copyright?
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA Explained
- Basics of Copyright Law
- What are the rights of a holder of a copyright?
- What are the elements of a copyright?
- How long is the period of copyright protection?
- What is the process for registering a copyright?
- Who may claim and secure copyright protection?
- What are infringement and the process for enforcing a copyright?
- What are the defenses available against a claim of copyright infringement?
- Public Domain Works
- Licensing Agreement
- End User License Agreement
- What is Fair Use of copyright?
- What is the First Sale Doctrine?
- What international protections exist for intellectual property rights?
- Paris Convention