What is copyright infringement

Copyright is a type of intellectual property right that is given to the owner of the intellectual property where the IP falls under one of the following categories; music, art work, literary work, motion pictures, drawings, dramatic works and computer programs. Owning your own copyright effectively protects your intellectual property from being stolen or used with out your permission by a third party. Where infringement of your copyright occurs you can take your case to court. If you copyrights are infringed it is advised that you seek the advice of a specialist attorney or professional consultancy firm.

Copyright infringement explained

Copyright infringement can takes place in many forms including; piracy, theft, enforcement responsibility, criminal liability and online intermediary liability.

The basic definition is where the intellectual property has been used by a third party without authorization or where the intellectual property has been copied or reproduced.

Piracy – is the act of committing copyright infringement or fraud intentionally for financial gain. One popular form of piracy is known as file sharing on networks.

Theft – Copyright infringement is a form of theft and occurs where the third party uses intellectual property belonging to the copyright holder without permission or in a detrimental way.

Enforcement responsibility – this is the enforcement of the responsibility of a copyright owner. An owner can seek an injunction or destruction of infringing products and can also seek damages for copyright infringement.

Criminal liability – Criminal liability for infringement can be found in Art61 of the “agreement of trade related aspects of intellectual property rights” (TRIPs).

Online intermediary liability – refers to the liability imposed on online intermediaries for hosting and distributing content that can be actioned under criminal law or civil law that is in line with copyright infringement.