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Cease and Desist Copyright Letter

By Eric Misterovich

Have you received a cease and desist copyright letter? If so, it can be a confusing and frustrating experience. Here are some thoughts to help you deal with a cease and desist copyright letter:

1. Identify the allegedly infringing content and its location. Is the infringing content hosted on your servers or on the servers of a third party? Did you supply the copyrighted content or was it contributed by a third party? Identifying the allegedly infringing content will help to identify your legal defenses.

2. Identify whether the allegedly infringing content is licensed. If the content is properly licensed, then there is no copyright infringement. If it is not, proceed to step three.

3. Identify defenses. Defenses, such as fair use or parody, may apply to the use of third party content in certain fact-specific situations. Additionally, other defenses may apply, such as laches or estoppel. Most of these defenses are fact-dependent, so it is especially important to contact a copyright attorney to assess the efficacy of these defenses.

4. Decide whether the allegedly infringing content should be removed. If the content is unlicensed and not subject to any defenses, removing it will likely mitigate your damages.

5. Hire a copyright lawyer to draft a response letter. Though you should always speak with a copyright attorney when you receive a cease and desist copyright letter, at this stage your copyright attorney should identify both legal and non-legal leverage and draft a response letter. The purpose of a well crafted response letter is to avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit. Since copyright infringement carries penalties of up to $150,000 per work infringed plus costs and attorneys fees, it is important to correctly handle this step.

If you have received a cease and desist copyright letter, contact the copyright lawyers at Revision Legal at 855-473-8474 or complete the contact form to the right.

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