From the US Copyright Office: “Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.”
Copyright damages occur when a copyright is used by an unrelated party without approval or an appropriate license from the copyright owner. Depending on the type of work, copyright protection allows businesses and individuals an exclusive right to reproduce, prepare, distribute, perform, or display the protected materials. These exclusive rights can create unique financial and economic benefits for the copyright owner.
In the United States, Title 17 of the U.S. Code (the Copyright Statute), includes remedies for copyright infringement. Title 17 of the United States Code, Section 504 reads:
“The copyright owner is entitled to recover the actual copyright damages suffered by him or her as a result of the infringement, and any profits of the infringer that are attributable to the infringement and are not taken into account in computing the actual damages. In establishing the infringer’s profits, the copyright owner is required to present proof only of the infringer’s gross revenue. The infringer is required to prove his or her deductible expenses and the elements of profit attributable to factors other than the copyrighted work.”
For copyright damages calculations, the copyright statute is unique in mentioning “profits of the infringer that are attributable to the infringement.” Thus copyright damages calculations in copyright infringement cases typically require some analysis of profit apportionment.
Copyright Damages Expert Witness Services
At Nevium, we connect our copyright valuations and copyright damages calculations to the economic impact of the copyright protected materials. In situations involving copyrights, we have performed:
- Lost profits damages calculations, including impact on value of copyright protected works;
- Unjust enrichment damages calculations, including an apportionment of profits achieved by the alleged infringer;
- Reasonable royalty analyses;
- Corrective advertising calculations; and
- Construction of hypothetical licensing and copyright use transactions.
Copyright Damages and Apportionment MCLE