Tag

what is copyright infringement | Carls Bail Bonds

California’s Stance on the Theft of Intellectual Property

California’s Stance on the Theft of Intellectual Property

By | Bail Bond in Fresno, Bail Bonds in Bakersfield, Bail Bonds in Kings County, Bail Bonds in Los Angeles, Bail Bonds in Tulare, Bail Bonds In Visalia, Carls Bail Bonds, Los Angeles Bail Bonds

These days, both large and small businesses rely heavily on intellectual property.

Cornell Law School defines intellectual property as, “any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others.”

    Investopedia elaborates on that definition and describes intellectual property as “a broad categorical description for the set of intangible assets owned and legally protected by a company from outside use or implementation without consent. An intangible asset is a non-physical asset that a company owns.”

Quick examples of intellectual property include:

  • Website content
  • Logos
  • Slogans
  • Sound recordings
  • Videos
  • Trademarks
  • Copyrights
  • Trade secrets
  • Photos
  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts
  • Etc.

While there may be some confusion about the exact definition of intellectual property, the one thing everyone agrees on is that intellectual property is a major business asset. Every single year millions of dollars get invested in the creation of new and fresh intellectual property.

Like all things of value, intellectual property is highly sought after by thieves.

The problem with intellectual property theft is that many of the people who steal the intellectual property don’t realize that they are doing anything wrong. Many assume that because a slogan, logo, or even pages of website content can be found online that it’s okay to use that content for their own purposes. They don’t realize that copying that entire blog post or using another’s company’s logo and passing it off on their own is just as wrong as stealing a pack of gum from a gas station.

One of the biggest differences between shoplifting from a local store and passing off someone else’s intellectual property as your own is that when you steal from a store, the case will likely only involve the local police. When it comes to the theft of intellectual property, the FBI sometimes gets involved. That’s because in many situations the theft of intellectual property is a federal offense.

While intellectual property theft is a federal offense, according to the FBI, most of the cases they look into involve extreme examples of copyright theft (remember all of the warnings that play at the start of movies,) patent theft, and trade secrets.

Don’t assume that because you took a few pages of content from a competitor’s website and are currently passing it off as your own, that you won’t get into trouble for the theft of intellectual property. The value of the intellectual property has inspired many companies to take matters into their own hands. An increasing number of businesspeople have started talking to lawyers about pursuing both criminal and civil cases against people who blatantly steal intellectual property.

California has the Uniform Trade Secrets Act which officially labels the theft of intellectual property as misappropriation. While this was originally created to protect trade secrets, such as pending patent projects, some businesses feel that it can also be used to protect other forms of intellectual property. If they are unable to use the Uniform Trade Secretes Act to launch a case against you, they could decide to file theft or fraud charges against you.

In addition to facing potential criminal charges for the theft of intellectual property in California, if you’ve used someone’s intellectual property without their permission, the business owner could name you as the defendant in a civil case where they try to recoup any financial losses they sustained as a result of your theft.

Cases of intellectual property theft are on the rise, the best way to make sure no one files charges against you is to make sure that everything you post to the internet or use to promote either yourself or your business is your original work.

Copyright Infringement and Online Piracy

By | Carls Bail Bonds

Copying, displaying, and distributing creative work that you do not have the rights to is copyright infringement. Creative work includes movies and TV shows, music, books, video games, and even computer programs like Photoshop. These are all works that a person would generally need to pay for in order to access it. It is also copyright infringement if they did pay for it but then decided to produce copies of it with the intention of giving them out. They do not have the rights to production.

Copyrights can be sold to another person, in which case that new person would have the right to use it. However if a person does not explicitly hold the copyright, then they may not infringe upon it. That is illegal.

One of the most common forms of copyright infringement is called piracy, and it refers to the copying, uploading, and sharing of creative work on the Internet without the copyright owner’s permission. Movies, TV shows, and music are among the most pirated forms of creative work. If a person commits online piracy, they are committing a federal crime that carries some steep penalties.

If a person’s intention is to make a profit, then they can be fined and put into prison for 1 year. The more copies that were made and the more total retail value of the copied works, then the greater the fines and the longer the prison sentence.

It can be easy for people to get involved with online piracy because of the accessibility of so many illegally available works. They believe it to be a harmless crime to download a movie illegally, but it is definitely a risk. The consequences are much more expensive than if they were to just pay $10 for the DVD.

Copyright Infringement Makes its Case with Deadpool

By | Carls Bail Bonds

The statute of limitations for copyright infringement is three years. Copyright infringement is the illegal copying, publishing, and distributing of creative works that belong to other people, groups, or companies. Creative works can be computer software programs, video games, books, films, music, and more. Copyrights can be transferred or sold to another individual, in which case the new individual could then reproduce and distribute copies.

Statute of limitations is the time frame in which the prosecutor can charge the accused with the crime in question. The statute of limitations begins when the infringement is discovered to have occurred and if that time frame expires, then the accused cannot be charged. In this case, after 3 years, prosecutors cannot charge a person for their copyright infringement case.

21-year-old Trevon Franklin was not so lucky. Last year, Franklin had obtained a copy of the superhero action movie, Deadpool. He posted it on his Facebook account 8 days after the film was released, where over 5 million people viewed the film free of charge. He also made copies and distributed them out to the public. The estimated value of that was $2,500.

Having the film posted on his Facebook account made it easier for the FBI to track him down, which they did so pretty quickly after he had posted the film. However, it was not until earlier this month that he was arrested and charged with copyright infringement – well within the statute of limitations for copyright infringement. If he is convicted, Franklin can spend up to 3 years in prison.

Not only is this a reason to not commit copyright infringement, it is also a reason to thoroughly consider the content a person posts online. There is no telling who looks at a person’s content. In addition, social media companies are constantly scanning through the content to weed out red flags. In the effort to try and earn money by distributing copyrighted works, Franklin now risks losing even more than what he would have earned.