• What is Copyright Infringement?
  • September 5, 2013 | Author: Timothy B. McCormack
  • Law Firm: McCormack Intellectual Property Law PS - Seattle Office
  • To establish a claim of copyright infringement, a plaintiff need only show “copying.” In this context, “copying” is “shorthand for the infringing of any of the copyright owner’s six exclusive rights.”  This is detailed in the copyright statute.

    Said another way, violating any of the copyright owner’s exclusive “copyrights” constitutes infringement.

    The exclusive rights or “copyrights” include the right to prohibit others from making copies, the right to prepare derivative works based on the work, the right to distribute copies of the work to the public, and the right to display the work publicly.

    A copyright owner need not prove knowledge or intent on the part of the defendant to establish liability for copyright infringement. Intent or knowledge is not an element of infringement.

    The act of loading the pictures onto the website is copyright infringement. Maintaining the website also violates several of the exclusive copyrights noted above.

     In the Sega Enterprises case the court found copyright infringement for copies made each time copyrighted files were uploaded to or downloaded from computer bulletin board service.

    In the Playboy Enterprises, Inc. v. Frena, case liability was found for uploading files containing digitized copies of plaintiff’s copyrighted photographs onto computer bulletin board service constituted unauthorized reproduction.

    One of the leading scholars in the area even says, “input of a work into a computer results in the making of a copy, and hence - such unauthorized input infringes the copyright owner’s reproduction right”.