Using the internet could result in copyright infringement claims

Glenn W. Peterson

When hearing about copyright infringement claims, it is only natural for individuals here in California to think of companies and celebrities facing these issues right along with many others across the country. In reality, anyone can become the target of such a claim. Simply using the internet creates that risk.

Copyrights cover music, movies, television shows, books, pictures and more. Downloading them without the proper permissions could technically constitute infringement, along with posting the content. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a person’s internet service provider may send a customer a notice of copyright violation.

For example, social media has numerous sites and pages dedicated to popular television series, such as “The Walking Dead.” Fans met there after the season six cliffhanger to speculate on what could happen at the beginning of the next season. Participants did not feel they were doing any harm, but AMC threatened to sue if individuals correctly guessed what would happen. Copyright infringement is serious business.

Once this notice is received, it could easily lead to litigation that could end up costing an individual dearly. When an ISP receives information from the copyright holder, it must take action under the act. It would be a mistake to ignore the notice.

Copyright infringement claims against “ordinary” people using the internet could happen. If they do, understanding the situation, their rights and possible legal options is crucial to resolving the situation in the best possible way. Consulting with a California intellectual property attorney could help provide much needed information, guidance and assistance.