Copyright Lawsuits: What They’ll Do to Your Business

The maker of Dragon Box, a streaming device, recently lost its legal battle with Netflix, Amazon, and other Hollywood studios due to alleged pirating of TV shows and movies. A report by the Los Angeles Times says that the company will shut down and have to pay $14.5 million to settle the lawsuit.

According to the studios, the defendant encouraged consumers to watch copyrighted movies and TV shows through the Dragon Box streaming device. Among the copyrighted titles are “Stranger Things” and “Deadpool.”

But this scenario is not new. There are several cases of copyright infringement that have happened in the past that even include giant brands, like Apple, Microsoft, and Google. As a small business, you should protect your intellectual property (IP) and prevent copyright infringement cases that can affect your reputation.

Use Original Content

In business, it’s important to think about intellectual property, particularly when you produce content. Violating IP rights and committing copyright infringement come with serious consequences for your business.

You have to make sure that you’re using original content and start archiving your website. Archived web pages may be used in case a copyright infringement lawsuit occurs. These dead webpages show old content the way you originally posted it and serve as evidence.

There could also be times that you might infringe other people’s IP. For instance, using materials that you don’t own the rights to. This can happen when you outsource a project for your business.

You have to remember that your company doesn’t automatically own the created work of an outside creator, including graphics, websites, or written content. It’s necessary that you clearly state in a contract that the designer gives you the exclusive rights to use that work.

Working without a contract can lead to several complications. The creator can use the design or content for a different purpose or commercialize it.

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

Man using phone and laptop

It will be difficult to recover stolen IP, especially if it’s unprotected. Fortunately, there are several ways to protect your company’s data, like copyright. ts protection can last up to 70 years.

Copyright has two types of rights: the economic right and moral right. The first one applies to works for commercial purposes, including selling, distributing, lending, and others. Meanwhile, the other one functions to protect the non-economic interest in work.

You must present an original work within a fixed medium, like written or recorded. The creator of the product should also be easy to identify. These factors help in making your copyright valid.

The Financial Implications of Intellectual Property Ignorance

Prioritizing your IP should not be something you should ignore. Keep yourself familiar with the IP laws to avoid wasting resources and efforts in creating something that has already been copyrighted. It can, of course, prevent costly litigations with other brands.

An Intellectual Property Litigation Risk Report shows that despite the increased risk of IP litigation, businesses fail to understand its financial impact. In the US, there are 2,200 copyright infringement cases annually.

IP litigation in the country is the most expensive litigation expenses and damages or settlement. The average damage awards can reach the eight-figure range compared to Germany with seven figures and China with six figures.

A strong IP strategy can help you avoid such complications. You also have to be extra careful in choosing the materials you’re using for your business. Plan and prepare essential documents to secure your rights.

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