Copyright Infringement, Intellectual Property and Trademark Theft

Copyright Infringement, Intellectual Property and Trademark Theft

What is Copyright Infringement?

Copyright infringement (or copyright violation) is the unauthorized use of material that is covered by copyright law, in a manner that violates one of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works. For electronic and audio-visual media, unauthorized reproduction and distribution is occasionally referred to as piracy.

Infringement Resources and Websites

If you need to research copyright laws, the best place to start is the U.S. Copyright Office. The U.S. Copyright Office website is an excellent resource for learning and understanding copyrighting and related laws.  The United States Copyright website provides an overview of copyright basics, information on the law, and a list of FAQs.  You can also Search the Catalog of records of registered books, music, art, and periodicals, and other works. Includes a review of ownership documents.

Private investigators are sometimes hired to investigate such cases. A detective’s primary role in such cases is to gather evidence and proof of infringement.

For more legal definitions, visit our Glossary of Legal and Investigation Terms.


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