Infringement of copyrighted works on peer-to-peer (P2P) and BitTorrent networks continues to be a significant challenge for creative companies and individuals. The massive scale of the infringements alone results in many copyright owners or holders simply "give up" and do not attempt to seek enforcement of their copyrights on these networks. Admittedly, the problem is daunting, but you are not without recourse and should not hesitate to contact an intellectual property lawyer with the knowledge and skills to combat online file sharing for you.
It is a common misconception that it is 'legal', or at least within a private individual's rights within their own home, to download and share music, movies, video games, and software. It is simply mistaken to think that it is OK to download and/or share the copyrighted works of others just because it is 'free' or the downloader and/or sharer is not making money from the act. It is solely the right of the copyright owner or holder to copy and to distribute the copyrighted works it owns or holds. The acts of downloading or sharing the copyrighted works, without a license or permission from the copyright owner or holder, are in contravention of those sole rights of the copyright owner or holder - even if for 'free'.
The problems created by online file sharing are numerous and complex, especially given the widespread and viral nature of these networks. It is often the case that copyright holders are so overwhelmed by the extent of file sharing and the financial drain it causes that they simply give up. Copyright law exists to encourage creative efforts, and does so by making remedies available to copyright holders upon whose rights have been infringed. Seeking enforcement of those rights and compensation for the damage caused by the infringements is entirely possible in most cases where a copyright is being pirated.
It is clearly copyright infringement when a work is shared for download by others, but rather than seek enforcement of their copyrights, some holders have chosen instead to just increase the prices of their products to make up for the mounting losses due to online file sharing. This response is made when a copyright holder feels that judicial and/or extra-judicial enforcement of their copyrights would lead to a public relations battle. However, making up for the losses due to piracy by increasing prices puts those additional costs on paying consumers, the actual fans of your work, instead of seeking compensation from those who are actually infringing on the copyright. Without any repercussion, the file sharers continue to engage in copyright infringement on a massive scale unfettered. It is up to the copyright holder to stand up for their rights, and in a sense, to become part of a unified front against online file sharing with their fellow copyright holders.
If you are a copyright holder and know or are concerned that your works (music, film, video games, visual arts, photos, books, etc.) are being shared in digital form on P2P/BitTorrent networks, please contact us today so that we can start a consultation as soon as possible. The sharing of a file can grow quickly and exponentially, so it is important to get our unique intellectual property protection system in place for you quickly to stem the damage. We want to get involved as early as possible, so feel free to get in touch even if your work has not been released so we can be ready for the crucial release period.