What does an Internet Copyright Lawyer do?

Daphne Mallory

An Internet copyright lawyer is a transactional attorney, litigator, or both in the area of copyright law as it pertains to the web. These attorneys perform a variety of services, including registrations, licensing, and representation at Internet copyright infringement trials. An Internet copyright attorney may specialize in certain areas, but many often choose to either work primarily as a litigator or outside of court instead of focusing on one or two types of copyrighted materials. Some of the copyrighted works that attorneys protect or advise clients on are music recordings, software code white papers, and artwork. Individuals must graduate from a law school and pass an examination in order to become an Internet copyright lawyer, who is licensed and allowed by law to practice.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

The primary client of an Internet copyright lawyer is a business or individual with a web presence or a business or individual who wants to have a presence online. The lawyer often has an understanding of the copyright issues that affect the individual’s ability to conduct business in a safe manner or to share his work with others while still maintaining copyright protection. One of the responsibilities of the lawyer who works in this area is to advise clients on their rights and protections under Internet copyright laws and to take precautionary steps to protect themselves against copyright infringement. For example, lawyers often draft user agreements for clients to post on their websites for visitors to sign through a click-through contract prior to any use of the copyrighted material on the website.

When there is copyright infringement, the lawyer can initiate a lawsuit or refer the client to a litigator who can. Litigation is often a necessary path that an Internet copyright lawyer may take in order to stop a party from infringing on his party’s rights. The lawyer may file legal action on behalf of a plaintiff to seek injunctive relief against an infringer. If the lawyer represents the accused, then her job is to provide competent legal defense for the claims of copyright infringement brought against the client.

Lawyers may also have to file appeals and submit appellate briefs in support of their clients to a higher court. If the appellate court requires it, the lawyer has to appear before the court and present oral arguments as to why a lower court’s decision should stand or be overturned. An Internet copyright lawyer may also argue cases in the highest court in the nation.

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