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You Just Got a Copyright Violation Notice—Now What? A Toronto Copyright Lawyer Can Help

January 6, 2021

These days, it’s easy to violate copyright law without realizing you’ve used protected media. So much more of our lives take place in the digital realm where it’s easy to post, share, and use media without knowing the source. There’s no need to panic if you receive a copyright violation notice. It will most likely take the form of a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice. They can come from several sources, including:

  • The original owner of the copyrighted media.
  • An attorney for the original owner.
  • Your internet service provider.

If you get a notice, the first and most important thing to do is to read it carefully to assess who it’s from, the media in question, and proof of rightful ownership. If you have a DMCA notice and are wondering–now what? Take these three steps.

First, assess whether there’s been a copyright violation.

Just because you got a DMCA, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done anything wrong. It’s important to read the notice carefully because you may not be liable for the violation. Several things can be wrong with the DCMA, invalidating it, including:

  • You aren’t using the media in question.
  • The sender of the notice isn’t the original owner of the material.
  • The notice doesn’t show proof of prior ownership.

If you are using protected material or hosting a site with protected material, and the notice demonstrates clear proof of ownership from the original creator, take down the media or request the person using the media remove it.

If the notice doesn’t cover these essentials, it isn’t valid, and you’re not at risk for a copyright violation. No matter what, you may want legal counsel to ensure you’re protected against further action.

Second, don’t ignore the violation; there are serious consequences.

You might consider ignoring a DMCA when you receive it, hoping the issue goes away or resolves itself. There are legal consequences for not responding to a copyright violation notice, such as opening yourself up to a lawsuit where you may face:

  • Statutory damages for each piece of the copyrighted material.
  • Potential civil penalties.
  • Criminal penalties, including jail time.

There’s no need to risk personal and professional damage from a lawsuit over a copyright violation. Seek legal guidance if you feel as though you received the DMCA in error or the issuer doesn’t own the copyrighted material.

Third, speak with a qualified Toronto copyright lawyer.

Get in touch with a Toronto area copyright lawyer, even if you’re sure you aren’t using copyrighted material. Or if you have the appropriate permissions to use the material in question. They’re able to establish the copyright violation notice’s validity and craft a counter-notice to return to the sender.

Copyright lawyers work to defend copyright violations and those accused of infringement, giving them an intimate understanding of copyright law. They will make sure you understand your rights and protections following a copyright violation notice.

For a reliable copyright lawyer in Toronto, get in touch with Atlas Law Group.

Reach out to the experienced team at Atlas Law Group if you’ve received a copyright violation notice and aren’t sure about your rights. Our team comes from the most prestigious law schools around the world. We are ready to offer guidance and insight regarding copyright law, real estate, immigration law, and provide litigation services.

We proudly serve clients in the greater Toronto area and around the world. If you’re facing legal challenges or need qualified advice, schedule a call with one of our team today. We’re available through conferencing software like FaceTime, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, or just old fashioned email.

a copyright lawyer in Toronto can help you navigate a copyright violation notice