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alex reese
alex reese, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3466
Experience:  BS, MS, JD
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When a company buys a copyright license from a copyright licensor,

Resolved Question:

When a company buys a copyright license from a copyright licensor, does it have an obligation to verify that the licensor actually owns the copyright? Any cases/precedents/statutes would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  alex reese replied 5 years ago.

alex reese : Hello, there is no legal obligation but if they were usin something that wasn't actually authorized they would still be liable although based on the license agreement they would likely have claims against the licensor or indemnity, breach of contract etc
Customer:

Dear Alex, thanks for your answer. Do you have any cites or cases to support that? I'm not worried about the second part, I just need to know if there's an obligation. Thanks!

alex reese :

I don't have a case but this is more general than something that would be in a case

alex reese :

I think your real question is different than the one you have asked, you want to know about liability in the event of infringement

alex reese :

liability for USING material you have licensed from a licensor

alex reese :

obviously I can buy whatever I want from you, there are no obligations on me to verify or do research. If any, such an obligation would be on the seller not the buyer.

alex reese :

"If anything...."

alex reese :

so the actual question is whether you are obligated to confirm that material you are using is aithorized....and the answer is NO....but if you don't you run the risk of copyright infringement. It's an issue of risk. But there is definitely no obligation for you to verify, although it is in your best interest to do so.

alex reese :

....because you will be liable/responsible for using the illegal material

alex reese :

you may have a claim against the licensor but that is separate

alex reese :

so in that sense there is an obligation....but it's an obligation to yourself not anyone else

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