Copyright Infringement in the Digital World

Downloading files from the internet is not a crime, but if you download files for free which you usually have to pay for, then there’s a problem. The piracy issue occurs when the copyright owners do not get the amount that they are due.

Piracy is the illegal copying and selling of copyrighted materials, but the common misconception is that people don’t think it matters because no one gets hurt. In reality, the evolution of piracy from burning CDs and DVDs to digital copying has affected the global economy. Pirating a physical copy or streaming illegally affects the livelihood of artists too.

Pirated copies are not always great

Most of the time, illegal copies do not have the same quality as the legal content. A pirated movie may have been recorded on a camcorder at the back of a cinema, so the quality is poor. Its content may be grainy or black and white at some parts. Copies downloaded from the internet on the other hand may suddenly stop at some parts and the sound quality can be very quiet and muffled.

Easy digital access

Downloading directly from the computer has become popular among internet users primarily because of the ease of access. Even with the number of sites that offer legal downloads, there are still file-sharing networks that offer free access to copyrighted materials. And it’s sad that many are active in some form of piracy, either through streaming, downloading, or the old school style of buying counterfeit DVDs.

In any case, piracy costs the entertainment industry. It is stealing from the businesses involved in the art. People must remember that nothing is free. Pirate sites make money through subscription costs or advertising when a consumer streams illegal content. The operators of these sites earn from sharing copyrighted materials that they do not own and have no permission to distribute.

How to minimize the problem?

Having internet service providers get on board in helping fight piracy and detect copyright infringements has always been a struggle. It would require content holders to educate people and private entities to be responsible, make them understand the importance of copyright, and encourage them to support different ways to consume content legally like going to the cinema or subscribing to Netflix and other video-on-demand sites.

Piracy may not be easy to kill but it can be reduced. Besides, with all the latest technology coming out, we only need to keep up. Also, there are entities that help fight piracy with the use of software to detect copyright infringements.

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Tips For Selecting a Defense Attorney

In this country, if you are arrested as a suspect in a crime, you need the help of a defense/criminal defense attorney. Even if you are guilty of the crime of which you are accused, a good defense attorney can negotiate a reduced sentence in exchange for an admission of guilt. If you are not guilty, you have little or no chance of proving this on your own. Therefore, if you are arrested in the San Diego area, you will want to choose a San Diego defense attorney.

Not all San Diego lawyers are created equal. Some specialize in corporate law, others in tax law, and still others in criminal law. Even among the latter, some attorneys focus on ways to prosecute a suspect while others focus on ways to get a suspect acquitted through introducing proof that a person could not have committed the crime, introducing enough possibility of innocence to create a “reasonable doubt”, or getting a person off because of a technicality.

You may find that many attorneys specialize in a particular area of expertise. For instance, one attorney may specialize in executive clients accused of a crime such as embezzlement, while another lawyer may specialize in robbery, man-slaughter/murder, etc. When searching for a San Diego criminal defense attorney, you will want to make sure that you hire a person who is experienced in whichever area of the law your case falls into. The more specific you are when you choose your attorney the better your chances are for your case. You can easily do an Internet search on Google or a similar site and typing in the exact sort of lawyer you want.

While you do have the option to use a lawyer that is appointed by the court, you might be better off selecting your own lawyer, as it is important to feel comfortable with your lawyer and trust his/her abilities.

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Choosing Representation For Your Civil Rights Case

Every United States citizen has certain rights designated by the constitution. These are known as civil rights, listed in the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution (The Bill of Rights), which include the freedom of speech and religion, the right to bear arms, and the right to a speedy and public trial, to name a few. These rights are protected by law and any violation of them should be brought to justice. If you ever find that any of your rights are infringed, or that you are the victim of discrimination, you should immediately seek the services of a Houston civil rights lawyer.

A Houston civil rights attorney will need to go through the tedious legal process before the actual case goes to trial. There is a lot going on when a litigation starts. The whole point of litigation is to use the law and somehow get an out of court settlement.

When both parties manage to reach settlement lots of money is saved as well as lots of legal time. However there isn’t a way to know if the case will actually go or not go to trial. This is why as an initial process the client is interviewed and asked if action needs to be taken using legal methods. Once all the facts are collected an agreement is decided upon as to what the lawsuit will be about.

One of the benefits of choosing to pursue a civil rights case is that it not only serves justice to you, but it also helps to prevent infringement of the rights of other people. Even if you just stop one person from discrimination or other violations, that’s one less person who could breach other peoples’ rights.

If you believe that you have experienced violation of your freedom by either the government or another person, please get in contact with a Houston lawyer as soon as possible. The only way we can stop this from happening is to step up and correct the guilty party.

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The Basics of Acquiring a US Visa

It’s not uncommon to dream of visiting places you see in the movies. Let me guess, most of them are in the United States. To name a few, New York, LA, Miami, Washington and Chicago are some of the common tourist destinations in the US. You have the resources but you harbor this apprehension of being denied.

This should not stop you from making your travel plans a reality. If you have relatives in the US or you would like to travel solo, the key is to know what type of visa you must apply for, the necessary documents you must fill out, and more importantly, the purpose of your visit to the US.

First things first, know the difference between a US Visitor Visa (B-2) and a US Visa Sponsorship.

These two things are not the same.

The visitor visa often known as B-1/B-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa for people wishing to enter United States temporarily for pleasure, medical treatment, and business. In this case, you apply for your US Visa with the US Embassy or Consulate. Whereas, a U.S. visa sponsorship is applied for by the employer or close family member by filing an immigration petition with the U.S. government for getting a residency card (Green card) for their employee or close family member. This is also known as non-immigrant petitions such as work visa (e.g., H, L visa) as well as family visa (e.g., Fiancé or K visa).

What is the purpose of your visit?

You will be asked this question by the US consul who you will meet when you get to the embassy. But before that, determine the purpose of your trip. If the purpose of your trip is to visit USA for a short duration for pleasure, tourism, and visit relatives, family, or friends, then visitor visa known as Tourist visa to USA or B-2 visa is the right visa for you.

However, keep in mind that you if apply for a visitor’s visa, among other things, you must show to the US Consular officer that they have strong ties to the Philippines as you home country and they intend return after their temporary stay in the U.S. You must also show that you have enough money available to take care your expenses for your U.S. trip such as air tickets, visitors insurance, lodging/boarding, transportation expenses, tourism expenses and all other expenses.

What if I don’t have enough resources but my friends and relatives in the US are willing to shoulder my stay there?

Then this is where sponsorship sets in.

Who can sponsor my trip?

Any US-based person can sponsor visa for his/her parents, relatives, and friends. This means that he/she must either be a holder of an I-94 (US Green card) or a US Citizen. Your sponsor should provide an affidavit of support (form I-134). The form is a confirmation that the sponsor is ready to undertake the financial liability of the applicant during the visit.

What documents do I need to submit?

Must have Documents for US Visitor Visa interview:

  1. A valid passport that does not expire prior to 6 months beyond of your intended stay.
  2. Printout of your confirmation page from the form DS-160
  3. Fee receipt US Visa Fees
  4. One photograph
  5. Original/Copy of Visa interview appointment letter

Supporting documents to show your Ties with your home country include:

You must demonstrate strong economic, social, and familial ties with your home country. You must also show that you will not become a burden on US by proving your financial stability to cover the expenses in US. These facts will ensure the interviewing officer that you will return to your home country after the authorized period of stay in USA. The required documents are:
1. Evidence of sufficient funds for the visit to US (Bank statement and passbook, etc.)
2. Evidence to show that you have strong ties to your home country. Documents related to the property you own and your employment are good evidence
a. If you are employed get a verification letter of employment
b. If you are self-employed get a financial and other documentary proof of the ownership
c. If you are a government employee get a Certificate of Employment and an Authority to Travel Certification
d. Tax ID, and recent tax-related documents
e. Original property papers like house, shop or business ownership documents etc. which you own in the Philippines/home country. If no papers available, make a notarized affidavit for the same
f. Documentary evidence of running any business or organization
g. Evidence of family ties like unmarried children, old aged parents and other family responsibilities
h. If person is an employee, other than proof of employment and proof of leave granted from the office, any such document that would show proof that you have reasons to come back

Documents and other proofs aside, the assistance of an immigration counsel/consultant who would facilitate your application and better your chances of getting approved is strongly suggested and highly encouraged.

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Tips For Selecting a Liability Attorney

Every day, consumers spend millions of dollars in retail and grocery stores all across the country. We believe that our purchases will bring happiness, fulfill our needs and bridge the gap. We take solace in the fact that the companies who manufacture the products we use will always do the right thing. Unfortunately, no one is right all the time. If you live in the greater Houston area and have been injured by the negligence of a product manufacturer, you need a Houston liability attorney.

If you have been harmed and try to seek compensation on your own, without the help of a Houston lawyer, the chances are high that the manufacturer may try to settle with you out of court with a fraction of the money which you could be entitled to. A lawyer will make sure that you are compensated for medical bills, wages lost due to your injury, and even lawyer’s fees. In fact, may lawyers offer a deal that if they don’t win the case for you, then their services are free; if you win, they will receive a percentage of the compensation awarded to you.

Have you ever sustained an injury at a shopping center or hotel? Houston premise liability law protects individuals from neglectful property managers and owners. If you have suffered a fall or accident on private or public property, the owner owes you restitution. Broken equipment, unclear sign postings and faulty buildings can cause serious bodily injury and even death. Hold thoughtless companies and individuals responsible for your safety on their premises. If you are on site as a guest or consumer, the owner is liable for any harm that comes to you on the premises.

When you are looking for a Houston liability attorney, verify qualifications and certification. Don’t allow yourself further injury by going to court with the wrong lawyer at your side. A good liability attorney will help you through the tough times and see you through the storm.

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What Are the Most Common Forms of Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to innovations of the mind, such as inventions, scholarly and creative works, patterns and marks, names and likenesses used in trade and business. All IP is protected by the various laws in existence locally, regionally nationally, and internationally. Laws exist for patents, trademarks, copyright, service marks, trade secrets and more.

What is a Patent?

A patent is an absolute right granted for an invention, which is a product or a method that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or proposes a new specialized solution to a problem. To obtain a patent, methodological information about the invention must be revealed to the public in a patent application. The process for obtaining a patent is complex. If you are interested in obtaining a patent, you should first visit this website: The US Patent and Trademark Office. Once you have begun to understand this process and the associated laws you can apply for a patent. However, keep in mind this is a complex process and using an attorney specializing in patents would be the best avenue to use.

What is copyright?

Copyright is a legal term used to illustrate the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Creations covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture, films, computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, technical drawings, and more. Copyright is not a complex IP to apply for and most people can easily complete a form and submit their work. Be sure to visit the Copyright Office online to learn everything you need to apply for a copyright, including fees, what to submit, etc: US Copyright Office.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a sign which distinguishes between goods or services of one company from those of other companies. Trademarks are safeguarded by intellectual property rights. Trademark protection can be obtained through registration, by completing an application for registration via the trademark office and paying the required fees. The website is the same as for patents.

What is a Service Mark?

A service mark is a mark that distinguishes between services. Businesses use service marks to connect their services and differentiate them from other services in the same field. Service marks consist of letters, words, symbols, and other devices that help notify consumers about the origin or source of a particular service. Registration can be completed at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

What is a Trade Secret?

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”) classifies a trade secret as: information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process that produces independent economic value. These secrets are either tangible or impending, and generally are not known or easily discovered by other persons who might receive monetary value from its revelation or use; and is the focus of efforts that are logical under the conditions to preserve its secrecy. There are two basic situations in which acquiring the use of a trade secret is illegal. If a trade secret is acquired through illegal means or if through a breach of confidence then there is a legal standing for suit. Trade secrets may be obtained by lawful means such as private discovery, reverse engineering, and unintentional disclosure. The trade secret holder’s failure to take reasonable protective measures can allow this to occur. The misappropriation of trade secrets is considered a form of unfair competition. Reverse engineering is oftentimes restricted as found in computer programs.

What is Industrial Design?

An industrial design right is an intellectual property right that shields the visual design of objects that are not purely functional. An industrial design consists of the creation of a model, pattern or composition of a pattern or color, or permutation of a pattern and color in three-dimensional form containing aesthetic value. An industrial design can be a two- or three-dimensional prototype used to produce a product, industrial commodity or handicraft.

What is Trade Dress?

Trade dress is a legal term of art that generally refers to characteristics of the illustration of a product or its packaging or the design of a building that signifies the origination of the product to consumers.

What is Fair Use?

Fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a partial and that changes the purpose, such as to comment upon, disparage, or lampoon a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. Fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement.

Commentary and Criticism

If you are commenting upon or criticizing a copyrighted work a book review or any valid review, fair use principles allow you to replicate some of the work to accomplish your purposes.

These are the most common forms of intellectual property. If you decide that something you have created falls under one of the categories stated in this article, then you should look into registering the work or product. Be certain that what you are registering is not the same as what someone else has already registered.

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Tips For Hiring an Accident Lawyer

You are going to need a San Antonio accident attorney if you have recently been in an accident in the San Antonio area. Now, if you were driving a vehicle that caused the accident you will need to get in contact with a San Antonio accident attorney to defend yourself. Regardless of whether you were a victim or the cause of the accident you will have to consult a San Antonio injury attorney. This attorney will provide you with information and assistance that will help you better understand your case as well as possible actions you can take.

When you search for a attorney to represent you, it is important that you choose one who has a great deal of experience in handling cases such as your own. To make sure that you choose a lawyer who is not only experienced, but also a person who you feel comfortable with and can easily get along with, you should put forth a great deal of effort in “weeding out” your search results by affordability, area of expertise, and location. Sometimes you may have to budge a little when making your decision, whether it mean having to travel a little further or paying a little bit more for a good lawyer.

You are probably now wondering: How can I find a lawyer to file my San Antonio accident claim? Well if you look though the yellow pages you might be able to get a hold of a few, however using a search engine to look for them online is the best and easiest method of finding the right lawyer. If you want to know what types of awards they have received.

If you decide to search the Internet for a lawyer, you may be surprised to find that many lawyers now have websites that list information about their history, including where they went to school and how long they have been practicing law. You may also find out whether or not they offer a free initial meeting.

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Finding a Good Probate Lawyer

Searching for a lawyer in New York is not all that difficult to do. There are a ton of different lawyers available, however you want to make sure that you find one that is not only going to be honest, but one that is specializes in whatever case you are in. Finding a New York probate lawyer doesn’t have to be hard; with our tips and tricks, you should have absolutely no problems at all.

One of the very first things you need to find out about your lawyer is if they are credible. You never want to get a lawyer that does not have a decent enough reputation, and there are tons of different ways to check this out. Whether it is looking into some of their past cases or you can even go to the bar and investigate any lawyer without actually hiring them.

The next tip is to find a lawyer who has particular experience in probate law. Probate can become very complex, and you want to make sure that the lawyer you choose is capable of handling any obstacle that may arise during the course of your case.

Taking recommendations from friends and family is a fantastic way to find a very good and trust-worthy New York lawyer, so make sure that you check with them. The internet is another great place to find all sorts of information on New York lawyers, so you can really check out their past cases.

Finding out what the legal fees will be before you commit to one lawyer is another thing that you want to make sure that you do – that way you can make sure that you are not overpaying for a lawyer, which can be very common in New York. Just do a bit of comparison shopping and you should be absolutely fine!

You really should try to do a comparison using the internet. Many New York probate lawyers have websites that will give a brief description of their services, and sometimes even the fees for those services. With all of the websites pulled up side by side, you can easily do a comparison rather than having to phone up several different firms.

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How to Come Up With Your Best Legal Move for Copyright Cases

Whether you’re the alleged infringer or the copyright owner, calculating damages for a copyright infringement case is critical in determining your potential legal strategy. To analyse, the first thing to consider is if the pirated work has been registered with the copyright office. Registered works are afforded greater protection and these registration records can be found in a free online database. To access the copyright registration records, you need to go to the Copyright Office website.

Statutory and Actual Damages

Your best legal strategy is not only determined by the best copyright infringement software. Read on to know more about the types of calculated damages that could just help determine what works well for your case.

Statutory damages are often higher than actual damages and they are easier to calculate. So the majority of plaintiffs or content owners usually choose to pursue for statutory damages. For illegal filesharing cases for example, actual damages per pirated song may be around $1; however, statutory damages could go up to $20,000 or more.

Regardless of the actual damages suffered by the content owner, the amount of statutory damages is set by law. Each infringement usually range from $750 to $30,000, but damages for “innocent infringers” can go as low as $200 and up to $150,000 if the court determines that the defendant acted “wilfully”. The courts do not award damages outside this range and they consider the purpose of the infringing use, the value of the infringed work, and the infringer’s intent or state.

Aside from statutory damages, plaintiffs can also ask for attorney’s fees and if awarded, the infringer will owe them the total sum or part of the legal fees plus the fees of their own lawyer. Although attorney’s fees are awarded through the discretion of the court, unregistered copyright is never allowed to ask for attorney’s fees.

Plaintiffs pursue actual damages when their infringed work was not registered prior to the infringement. This type of damage is the calculable profit the infringer has gained from infringing the copyrights or monetary loss that the content owner has suffered.

Proper Analysis

Aside from getting a better understanding of the strength of your copyright infringement case, proper analysis of the potential damages plays an important role in determining a legal strategy. Calculating damages for copyright infringement is just one of the things involved in determining a person’s rights under the copyright law.

Most copyright cases do not go to trial and some defendants even choose to settle as the cost of a court case is already high, and added legal fees could possibly grow larger too. So, if you feel like your work has been infringed, talk to a copyright entity. They can help you identify the individual specifics that you will need to determine to come up with the best legal actions. Also, they use high-quality copyright infringement software to track pirates.

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Do I Need an Attorney for My Divorce?

Many couples debate whether they need a divorce attorney when mediation is required by the courts. It is recommended, at minimum, consulting with a family law attorney about your options and what is best course of action for your case no matter how well you and your ex-spouse get along.

Below you will find just a few examples of the aspects you need to consider if you are debating whether you should hire an attorney for your divorce:

  • If you have many complicated assets to divide up. If you have accumulated various expensive marital property, you should consider hiring a lawyer. You will want to have a lawyer present if you have complicated possessions you are dividing, like businesses, numerous vehicles, and real property.
  • If your spouse is prone to lying. If your former spouse is known to lie, it could become difficult when it is your word versus theirs in a hearing or mediation session. If they are spreading false information about you, or lying in the courtroom, you need a lawyer on your side to protect your interests.
  • If violence or abuse is ever involved. If any abuse is present, whether it’s related to children, substance abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, or any other form, you should always hire an attorney. Not only will the abused spouse not be able to negotiate properly for fear of manipulation or further abuse, but a family law attorney can help take the appropriate steps to protect you and your family.
  • If your spouse has hired an attorney. Your spouse may choose to hire a lawyer to represent themselves at the last minute. We see attorneys appear at hearings and mediation with little to no notice to the unrepresented spouse. If your spouse decides to have representation, you should as well. It will be difficult to make your case against a family law attorney, even if you believe you have a clear and reasonable argument.

There is so much at stake! If you are going through divorce and you are debating on whether you need to hire a divorce attorney, call and speak to a family law firm you trust in your area. An experienced attorney should answer the questions you have, discuss your options and your particular case to help you understand your options during divorce. A skilled lawyer may be an invaluable asset to protect your and your family interests.

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