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Expert Witness Testimony on Similarity of Works in Copyright Infringement Claim

     By HG.org

Copyright infringement is a rampant crime in the age where technology rules over these matters, and the issues with copyrighted works being copied and distributed increases each year. However, the need for an expert witness arises when similar works are fashioned from the original that are similar enough to lead to infringement claims against the author.
Copyright infringement occurs when someone has copied, distributed and manufactured works from an author that have been copyrighted at some point. However, it is possible to violate the copyright laws when creating a new work when it is too similar to another that has been written already. These cases could require the use of an expert witness that is able to discern if the new writing has stemmed from another previously written. If this is the case, it is possible the author could face fines or other resolutions to the claim. This may even include the work being expunged from future copyright projects.

The expert witness provides testimony in the courtroom, but his or her experience and knowledge in these matters is used to determine if the work is similar to another. This process could entail long hours researching, reading and analyzing the work. With this much time spent on the writing, he or she would then know the details well when testifying in the court. His or her details provided and presented are clear and there is usually sufficient confidence from the jury or judge to deliberate with full knowledge about the case to provide compensation or a remedy to the plaintiff.

Copyright Infringement Explained

Copyright information and violations are lesser known in the age of electronic communications. While a greater amount and variety of data is available to the mainstream consumer, knowledge about breaking copyright laws is little understood. Many individuals of the populace violate copyright protections often when they share excerpts and passages of works online. Even pretending that these are original ideas they’ve come up with is an infringement. However, when they are not caught, they face no consequences for these actions. Copying party of an author’s work and then distributing it online is a similar offense.

However, when someone creates a new work based on the ideas of another, this is when similarity of works violations transpire.
The author must prove that he or she owns the work with a valid copyright, that the new work is similar enough to his or her original creation and has cause to seek an action. Facing the violator in court, it is possible to receive compensation, a cease and desist or another remedy to ensure the new work is not provided the same copyright protections as what it was based on.

However, the author must prove that his or her creation was the source material or inspiration of the new work. This is where an expert witness is often hired who has experience in these matters.

The Expert’s Testimony in Copyright Cases

When the issue involves a work of similarity, the expert is tasked with analyzing both works, determining through the concepts and ideas if there are any similarities and then compare what the original has in common with the new work. In similarity of works infringement, this is complicated and difficult to discern. The expert witness is hard pressed to discover the comparisons and then explain these in the courtroom. When the original owner has pushed for civil litigation, it is for compensation or for the new author to stop what he or she is doing, in usual circumstances. However, in works of similarity, it could be to ensure the public is aware that the original writing is attributed to him or her and that the new work is based off his or her ideas and concepts.

Testimony in the courtroom details how the works are similar if these have been discovered through extensive examination and inferences with certain details. The judge or jury panel may receive a presented description of these comparisons, and then it is up to them to determine what course of action to take if the plaintiff is successful in his or her claim. The expert witness will explain what type of remedy is sought if compensation is necessary. If the author wants the new writer to cease what he or she is doing, the professional may explain why this is needed based on the previous work’s success or obscurity. This is done to protect his or her work.

Copyright HG.org


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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