Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Intellectual Property Law
This answer was rated:

We paid a php developer to create a php file for us to use

and he gave us full...
We paid a php developer to create a php file for us to use and he gave us full rights to the file and everything. We integrated this php file into our hosting and about a 2-3 weeks later we found out that someone had stolen the file, the hosting didnt have correct .htaccess setup so they just right clicked and downloaded the file, kept the file the same name and are getting the same error we were getting before we had it fixed. We have proof we own the file with logs of transations and file dates stamps as well as conversation about the file being created for us and for only our use between us and the dev. How would we go about asking them to take down the file and if they dont, whats the best course of action as they are using the file to bring in donations?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Answered in 7 hours by:
11/8/2011
Attorney Wayne
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,506
Experience: Practicing Law Since 2000
Verified
Hello. Thanks for contacting us.

The key question here is who owns the copyright. The copyright begins once something is created and put in a tangible form (not just an idea in someone's mind).

If a developer assigns or transfers rights to an organization (or if the organization can show it was a "work for hire") then it owns the copyright.

If this is the case, the first thing I would do is register the app with the US copyright office. Registration is the prerequisite to legal actions to enforce a copyright.

Its not very expensive, and it can be done online:
http://copyright.gov/eco/

There are several possible strategies from there.

They include:

(1) Using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice and takedown procedure. For this, its necessary to notify whomever is hosting an infringing use of the program that there is infringement, and you are demanding it be taken down. Here are links with more details on the process:

http://theosmblog.com/2010/03/05/file-dmca-takedown-notice/

http://brainz.org/dmca-takedown-101/

The thing about 'notice and takedown' is that the infringer can claim there is no infringement and the material can then go back up.

Which means that it may be necessary to take stronger legal action (or one could do that in the first place -- depending on goals).

Here's where registration of a copyright is important. Registration is prerequisite for a law suit. Also, it allows to collect either the actual value of the infringed material lost due to the illegal use, or a set amount (its on a sliding scale), known as statutory damages. For non-blockbuster copyrighted things, the statutory damages can often prove more valuable -- to the tunes of thousands of dollars more valuable.

Its important to save any evidence of the infringement, including any email exchanges with the infringer.

Ultimately, it may be worthwhile to get a lawyer's help should the simple notice and takedown not suffice. Because of the statutory damages, you may find lawyers willing to take a strong case without upfront fees (known as "on contingency.") The lawyer gets paid as a percentage of the settlement or judgment once collected. While a winning plaintiff may pay more this way, since some cases are not successful, the costs and risks fall on the lawyer. Contingency cases are also a good way to evaluate a case. Most lawyers who do this kind of work don't want to waste time with cases that can't win.

I wish you all the best as you seek resolution in this matter.
Attorney Wayne
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,506
Experience: Practicing Law Since 2000
Verified
Attorney Wayne and 87 other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Attorney Wayne Your Own Question
Attorney Wayne
Attorney Wayne
Attorney Wayne, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,506
1,506 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Practicing Law Since 2000

Attorney Wayne is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Alex Reese

Alex Reese

Lawyer

3,106 satisfied customers

Experienced in intellectual property law

Robert McEwen, Esq.

Robert McEwen, Esq.

Lawyer

848 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

561 satisfied customers

I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.

Thomas Swartz

Thomas Swartz

Lawyer

459 satisfied customers

Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

450 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney in private practice.

Wilton A. Person

Wilton A. Person

Lawyer

352 satisfied customers

MBA, Experienced and Knowledgeable in Intellectual Property Law

BartEsq

BartEsq

Researcher

192 satisfied customers

Juris Doctor

< Previous | Next >

Related Intellectual Property Law Questions
I just finished my 1st cd that i need to get copyrighted
I just finished my 1st cd that i need to get copyrighted asap and trademark my record label's name.how much will the copyright&trademark cost and to start doing shows,selling c.d.s,etc... legally what… read more
Alex Reese
Alex Reese
Lawyer
JD
3,106 satisfied customers
A Californian artist has infringed a copyrighted photograph
A Californian artist has infringed a copyrighted photograph of mine published in a book in 1994. She copied my photograph without authorisation, without credit and without payment. Her website indicat… read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,031 satisfied customers
I am looking for an literary/copyright attorney to represent
I am looking for an literary/copyright attorney to represent me against a very well known music artist. My complaint is.... I worked on this persons autobiography for 4 years compiling stories and int… read more
N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty
Doctoral Degree
59 satisfied customers
I have a question regarding the trademarks and copyright of
I have a question regarding the trademarks and copyright of Adobe Systems, Inc. I understand that their name, "Adobe" is a trademark, and the question I have is, would it be an infringement upon Adobe… read more
Alex Reese
Alex Reese
Lawyer
JD
3,106 satisfied customers
If I want to revise a copyright, can I use the electronic
If I want to revise a copyright, can I use the electronic Copyright Office [eCO] or do I have to use the regular form?… read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,031 satisfied customers
My question is concerning copyright law. (I think) I am a
My question is concerning copyright law. (I think) I am a graphic artist I draw photorealistic portraits in graphite, charcoals and color pencil. I would like to begin offering fantasy composit portra… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
Re: copyright infringement. The company who created and
Re: copyright infringement. The company who created and hosts my business website used an image on my site, which was taken from a disk that was public domain. I received notification from a company (… read more
Roger
Roger
Litigation Attorney
Doctoral Degree
26,807 satisfied customers
I just made my own website and put a 2017 copyright symbol
I just made my own website and put a 2017 copyright symbol at the bottom of the page is that sufficient or do I have to register the website. If so, how much does it cost? … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,946 satisfied customers
I received a DMCA Takedown Notice for un-infringing photos
Hi, I received a DMCA Takedown Notice for un-infringing photos that I took myself but were accused of stealing. My situation is to follow shortly after this message... … read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
450 satisfied customers
I have a copyright on "let there be light" can the new movie
I have a copyright on "let there be light" can the new movie use my title? Book and movie are about religion … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,946 satisfied customers
What constitutes copyright infringement? If I find someone
What constitutes copyright infringement? If I find someone else's explanation answer to a question, and I read that explanation, and then develop my own explanation perhaps with different wording will… read more
Alex Reese
Alex Reese
Lawyer
JD
3,106 satisfied customers
Copyright lawyer. I am giving a talk and preparing a
This question is for a copyright lawyer. I am giving a talk and preparing a powerpoint presentation. I found an image on the internet I want to use to illustrate a point. When searching for the image,… read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
891 satisfied customers
I authored a novel in 1982. I own the copyright. There was
I authored a novel in 1982. I own the copyright. There was some trouble with the publisher, which bankrupted one division. My copyright attorney at that time negotiated an agreement that they would no… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,946 satisfied customers
I went through Legal Zoom for copyright and Trademark
Hello, I went through Legal Zoom for copyright and Trademark protection on my patent pending product. The U,S,P.T.O. approved "Life" on my submission for "Life Head Gear". … read more
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
848 satisfied customers
Do you handles the copyright violation case in the little
Hi Pearl, do you handles the copyright violation case in the little rock, AR … read more
N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty
Doctoral Degree
59 satisfied customers
This question concerns trademark/copyright of street
This question concerns trademark/copyright of street photography. Hello. I live in Austin, TX. I have been working on a street photography project in which I shoot recognizable local businesses and si… read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
3,036 satisfied customers
DMCA subpoenas are only for copyright iinfrigement what
Hi DMCA subpoenas are only for copyright iinfrigement what about for Trademark infringment … read more
Bill Attorney
Bill Attorney
law
1,419 satisfied customers
I sent in a DMCA to Automattic.com and received a response:
I sent in a DMCA to Automattic.com and received a response: The material identified does not appear to be copyrightable subject matter. See http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html for more … read more
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
848 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x