Original content creators are protected by the government under the Copyright Act of 1976. It means that they have the exclusive rights to reproduce and make a profit from their creations by selling it. People who are infringing the rights of these original content creators without their permission can be sued in court, and when they won the case that they have filed, they will be awarded copyright damages.
If you are an original content creator, you can invoke the Copyright Act of 1976 to protect your creation and file a lawsuit against those who are trying to imitate your work without your permission. Regarding the money that you will receive if you win the lawsuit, it will be calculated depending on the combination of three factors – the actual damages, the profit that you should have collected, and statutory damages.
For example, if you are an illustrator and you live off by selling your work, you can file a lawsuit if you discover someone stealing your work and reproducing it on another product, like shirts and posters. If these are sold online and you did not permit them to do so, you can file for a lawsuit against those who are behind the business. Hiring a lawyer to calculate the copyright damages would be expensive and time-consuming, but you can also evaluate it by yourself.
The first thing that you have to determine if the actual damages that this might cause you. This can be determined as the money lost for the property infringement, and you have the freedom to demand how much it will be. You can refer to the damages as the lost income from sales, lost revenue from licensing, or any financial losses attributed to the infringement.
The law states that the owner of original content has the right to recover all of the damages suffered due to the infringement of their copyright. When they have profited from stealing content, the owner can also add this amount to the damages that they should get from the opposing party.
You can claim that selling your original work became too difficult after it has been stolen by a different party, or you can also say that the percentage of your sales dipped down after the infringement. Of course, the calculation would vary, but you have to show a strong proof about the side effects of having your content stolen so you can run after those who have stolen your content.
Another thing to remember is that the owner of the original content can demand more damages if the stolen content became popular and highly successful after it has been sold by the opposing party.
One of the best examples is the creation of an original book. If an author finds out that a whole chapter of their book was stolen by someone, they can immediately file for a copyright infringement case. If the original author is providing a license to other authors for a certain amount of money, they can also demand it to the person who has stolen a chapter of the book for their own benefit.
Calculating the damages for copyright infringement have a grey area, and it might be difficult to prove how much money the original content creators can demand from those who have stolen their works, which is why the law states for a third provision called the statutory damages.
This is the amount of damage that is calculated by the law. It can range from $750 to $30,000 per copyright infringement acts, and the amount can exceed depending on how many times the opposing party has stolen the content. It can also be divided into two categories – the intentional infringer, who can pay for a maximum of $200, and the intentional infringer, who should pay up to $150,000 per infringement.