Copyright Registration, Notice, and Enforcement FAQ

How are copyrights enforced?

If someone violates the rights of a copyright owner, the owner is entitled to file a lawsuit in federal court asking the court to:

  • issue orders to prevent further violations (restraining orders and injunctions)
  • award money damages if appropriate, and
  • in some circumstances, award attorney fees.

Whether the lawsuit will be effective and whether damages will be awarded depends on whether the alleged infringer can raise one or more legal defenses to the charge.

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