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When should you hire a copyright lawyer?

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Quick Answer

People should hire copyright lawyers if they find their own website designs on someone else's website, if someone has plagiarized something written by the copyright holder, or if someone infringed on copyright laws and illegally downloaded music, Avvo says. People may also want to hire a copyright lawyer if they are sued for infringement of copyright laws, Nolo explains.

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When should you hire a copyright lawyer?
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Full Answer

Copyright is part of a large specialty known as intellectual property law, Nolo says. This type of law also deals with trademarks and patents. A copyright protects the expressive arts and gives owners the exclusive right to perform and display their works and create derivative works, and it provides rights to reproduce their work, AllLaw says. A copyright also gives owners the economic right to benefit from their works and prohibits anyone else from benefiting without an owner's consent. Copyright laws do not protect ideas, only the expression of those ideas.

Copyright lawyers can be very costly, Nolo cautions. Some cities may offer volunteer legal aid for anyone looking to retain a copyright lawyer. Some copyright lawyers may charge a flat rate or charge a contingent fee, meaning there's no fee for service unless the client is successful in his claim. Anyone dealing with a copyright lawsuit should seek an attorney with litigation experience.

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