Most artists are not aware of their rights under copyright law. In responding to numerous questions from artists, it has become apparent that some people think that the full extent of copyright protection only allows an artist to force an infringer to cease and desist use of his/her work. While a cease and desist letter is certainly in order when one’s work is being ripped off, a copyright owner is also entitled money damages. Money damages can come in the form of statutory damages (stay tuned for more posts regarding statutory damages), lost profits and/or disgorgement of the infringer’s profits derived from the infringement (stay tuned for more on these subjects too).It’s wise to consult with an attorney who has experience in copyright litigation and an attorney who is committed to the enforcement of an artist’s rights under the law. The cease and desist demand is the first step in the process, and an experienced arts attorney will be able to draft the letter for maximum impact, and advise you regarding the next steps, which may include litigation.
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