In defending against the Copyright Infringement Lawsuit, many times the ability of the defendant or plaintiff in a declaratory judgment action plays a significant role in protecting and preventing copyright trolls and frivolous infringement claims. The enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has led to a cottage industry of individuals sending out quick DMCA Notice and Take down Requests or alternatively seek a modest license fee.
A modest license fee is often, a part of an overall business plan to continue to engage in copyright misuse and stifle creativity and the development of new Works of Arts. Unfortunately, many times the Copyright Troll is seeking to enforce a copyright that is an extremely narrow, has lapsed, or for a work that has fallen into the public domain. In order, to further the policies behind the US Copyright Act, Courts must liberally award the expenses and fees of litigation.
Unless, there is a risk of loss to the Copyright Troll or Frivolous Copyright Infringement Claimant, there is no incentive for the defendants or declaratory judgment plaintiffs to raise meritorious defenses and pursue the development of new creative works or advance the development of the Arts. In light of, these policies and competing considerations, the Seventh Circuit awarded a Defendant or a Plaintiff in a Declaratory Judgment over $39,000 in legal fees for a case involving damages of $5000.
Judge Castillo stated that in light of, the business practices of the Copyright Holder or Troll and the efforts to seek license fees from third parties with valid rights to use the characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson characters; the Estate of Doyle was required to pay legal fees to the Plaintiff. The Estate’s business practices needed to be deterred by awarding the Plaintiff additional expenses and fees, in return for, acting as a public servant and ensuring that the Copyrights to the characters were not going to be misused.
For more go to: Copyright Infringement_Recovery of Legal Fees_080614