Copyright Infringement - Letter of Demand
The first step is to understand your rights of copyright and make a careful assessment as to whether they are being infringed. You should consider what outcome you would like –if, for example, the infringing material is on a website, do you simply want it removed as quickly as possible, or are you happy for it to remain on the site provided you are paid, or do you want compensation for its unauthorised use and removal?
When sending a letter of demand you should be:
- careful not to make threats about infringement which cannot be substantiated as these may constitute ‘groundless threats ‘ for which you could yourself be sued
- prepared to take the matter to court if the letter of demand does not lead to a satisfactory outcome. This means you need to be able to prove that you are the copyright owner and that the recipient has infringed your copyright. Therefore you will need to show that they had access to your work and that they copied it; and
- careful not to send a letter which is designed to look like a court document because this is illegal.
It is advisable to send the letter of demand by registered post or fax so that you can prove it was received. Don't forget to retain a copy for your records.
As mentioned, above, it is very important that you seek legal advice before sending a letter of demand. To get advice from Arts Law, lodge a query here.
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