Copyright cease and desist letters are a common occurrence in the Internet world. Whether you are an e-commerce business owner, an Internet service provider, a blogger, or a website developer, chances are, if you are in business for a long period of time, you will receive a copyright cease and desist letter. Once you have received a copyright cease and desist letter, it is important to contact a copyright lawyer to advise you of your rights.
There are numerous defenses that may be asserted in response to a copyright cease and desist letter. A good copyright lawyer will analyze the letter, identify legal defenses and non-legal leverage, research the most recent case law related to the issues identified, and advise you of your rights. Common defenses to a copyright cease and desist letter include:
- Safe harbor under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act;
- Fair use, as in the case of news reporting or parody;
- That the alleged infringement is outside of the scope of copyright law, such as in the case of alleged copyright ownership of facts or ideas; and
- License or permission.
If you have been targeted by a copyright cease and desist letter, it is important that you consult with a copyright attorney so that you can be advised of your rights. Your attorney may advise you to ignore the letter, remove the allegedly infringing material, or send a response letter that advises the complaining party of your defenses.