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What to Do if You Found Someone Using Your Artwork Without Your Permission

Creating a work of art is a personal process that takes immense time, creativity, and dedication. When you put in the effort to produce an original art piece, you naturally feel the right to own everything related to it. But what if another person or business decides to use your original work without your permission? What options do you have to protect yourself? If you have found that another entity has wrongfully stolen your artwork, you have every right to pursue legal action against the guilty party. Below we will discuss the options you have if you find that someone else has been benefiting off your artwork.

Do Further Research

Seeing your plagiarized work under another person’s name can be extremely distressing. While it is easy to let anger get ahold of you, it is important to stay level-headed and conduct further research first. Your primary focus should be to determine the extent of plagiarism. Has the work been blatantly stolen, heavily inspired, or does it just look somewhat similar? If the work looks slightly similar, at most, then pursuing litigation may not be the best option for you. Despite your personal feelings, it is possible for multiple people to have similar ideas without collaboration. Additionally, it is important to find out if another person is profiting off of your work or not. If the work is clearly plagiarized and they are using it to their advantage, it is highly recommended you pursue legal action for art theft.

Contact an Attorney

Your next step should be to contact an intellectual property attorney who can help guide you through all the legal processes. The lawyer will discuss your legal options with you and fight aggressively on your behalf to protect your name. Additionally, they can assist you in sending a cease and desist order to the individuals who plagiarized your work. By pressing legal action against them, you can get reimbursed for the profit they made and compensated for any possible damages inflicted onto you.

Understand Copyright Laws

Though your work is automatically copyrighted the moment is created, formally registering for copyright through the United States Copyright Office has numerous benefits. If your work is officially copyright protected before it was stolen, you are eligible to receive reimbursement for the profits they made in addition to statutory damages. If your work has not officially been copyright protected prior to being stolen, you are only eligible to receive the amount the plagiarizers made from your work.

In Need of an Intellectual Property Attorney?

Getting your artwork stolen after pouring in your time and effort can be devastating. As the original creator of the art piece, you deserve full rights and utmost respect for your intellectual property. If you have discovered that another entity has infringed your intellectual property rights, please do not hesitate to contact an attorney right away. At SAC Attorneys LLP, our team is prepared to protect your property and fight aggressively on your behalf. To schedule a no-obligation consultation today, please give our office a call at (408) 716-1603.

Client Reviews
Mr. Cai Is a Diligent Attorney. My sister and I were defendants in a civil litigation case. We hired James Cai and his law firm, SAC Attorneys LLP. Mr. Cai is a diligent attorney and responded to our questions in a timely fashion. He and his staff were very helpful in keeping us informed of the proceedings of the case and in explaining each step. Mr. Cai is also very conscientious of fees and costs, and avoided unnecessary charges. The results of the Summary Adjudication sided with us. The Court Trial resulted in the “Final Statement of Decision” and “Judgment after Court Trial” overwhelmingly siding with us. Cynthia F.
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