Creating a business website means finding clever ways to attract the attention of potential customers. This may mean including sharp graphics, bold images or edgy music. However, adding these items to a website or even a social media page without paying attention to the copyright had led many New York businesses to intellectual property litigation when the owners of the art or music sought restitution for copyright violations.
There are options for businesses who want to avoid paying royalties for an image or song. Royalties are the percentage of the money the work of art earns that goes to the creator of the art. However, there are royalty-free forms of intellectual property that are available for businesses and individuals to use without risking legal trouble. Royalty-free items are those for which the owner has voluntarily relinquished the property rights. These photos or songs are sometimes called stock.
To use royalty-free items, the business owner may have to pay a one-time fee to the stock agency, who has usually paid the creator for licensing rights. The business owner may then use these items on a website or social media with the understanding that they may also be used on other websites. Therefore, if the business owner is looking for something original, it may be worth it to seek the permission of an artist for the use of copyrighted work.
When a New York business owner fails to seek that permission or to pay for the use of a photo, work of art or song, the owner of that item has the right to pursue restitution through intellectual property litigation. The results may be as simple as winning a cease and desist order, compelling the website owner to remove the stolen work. However, the artist may also deserve financial compensation if the use of the art resulted in monetary damages to the artist.