One of the worst feelings for a business owner is either being accused of copyright infringement or being a victim of the crime.
Recently my dad shared with me that his friend was busted by undercover feds for copyright infringement. His friend’s store provides tailoring services. Additionally, he was also printing team apparel and other merchandise using collegiate logos.
Surprisingly, many people are guilty of this.
Be Aware of the Value of Intellectual Property.
Remember, if businesses don’t protect their intellectual property rights, they will lose them. If you’re caught stealing the rights of another business owner, you could find yourself not only out of large sums of money but behind bars.
In the case concerning my dad’s friend, he was arrested for counterfeit. It’s not clear whether it was trademark or copyright infringement. It could be both. Counterfeit means passing off goods as someone else’s without permission. This is usually done by using the company’s logo, name, or similar packaging. That’s exactly what trademarks protect.
Organizations such as the NFL and NCAA license their intellectual property to specific manufacture of their choosing. It doesn’t matter if you’re charging for the merchandise or not, the money that’s intended for the rightful owner that is not going into their pocket.
Copyrights Give Business Owners Certain Rights of Exclusion.
One of those rights of exclusion is that they have the right to exclude other people from distributing their copyrighted material.
How many times have you intentionally or unknowingly taken a photo off the internet and placed it on your website? Or how many times have you reproduced audio or video material that belonged to someone else?
These are serious violations of intellectual property.
Be mindful that federal time is much stricter than state time. You can expect to do about 80% of the time on the federal level. Your criminal history and the quantity of the infringement plays a factor in the length of the sentence.
How Do I Learn More About Avoiding Copyright Infringement?
If you would like to dive deeper into copyrights and trademarks, enroll in the “Launch Legally Blueprint.”
It is designed not only to help you thrive in business but also to help you avoid the legal pitfalls that many entrepreneurs experience.
It also includes my new book “The Legal Basics Handbook.”
This book is the perfect way to get started in knowing the basics about intellectual property.
Enforce your rights and be aware of the rights of others by enrolling today. The last day to enroll is Friday, November 6th. Click below to get started.