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What does a Copyright Infringement Lawyer do?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2016
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A copyright infringement lawyer works with clients to protect their ideas and prove ownership of those ideas. These two responsibilities encompass the bulk of the attorney's job. A copyright lawyer uses a variety of techniques and research to perform their duties successfully. These intellectual property experts represent companies, musicians, writers, inventors and more.

Copyright infringement refers to the unauthorized use of copyrighted material. Copyright laws are different from country to country, but they generally help protect a creator's exclusive rights to his or her work. Violations of copyrights come in many forms, including things such as using a song without permission in a commercial, publishing a book that contains text from other works without permission, designing a corporate logo that looks similar to a competitor's logo and many more. A copyright infringement lawyer uses these copyright laws to protect clients' intellectual interests.

A copyright infringement lawyer divides or her his job into two distinct halves: proactively protecting clients and representing clients in disputes. Being proactive means simply helping a client apply for a copyright on all intellectual property. The process of applying for a copyright varies by country but usually involves submitting the work in question, along with a large amount of paperwork, to the appropriate board that monitors these activities. This action provides exclusive rights to a client's work that means the work is an original creation and cannot be used or copied without permission of the creator.

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When copyrighted intellectual property is used unlawfully, the copyright infringement lawyer performs the second half of his or her duties, representing clients in disputes. One of the most common disputes involves ownership of a valid copyright, because there frequently are multiple creations that are similar, and it is important to prove who originated the idea by consulting copyright applications. Another infringement, actual copying, has seen a spike in action with actions such as illegal pirating of video and music discs or distribution of copyrighted songs on the Internet.

To perform these dual responsibilities, a copyright infringement lawyer must perform a great deal of research on previous cases and copyright law, meet with clients and file paperwork. Copyright attorneys work in many types of organizations. These include individual law offices that handle small cases, large firms with more prominent clients, corporate offices that represent the interests of a single company's copyrighted material and more.

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