What to Do When a Major Brand Steals Your Indie Work

Imagine that you are hustling trying to get your name out there to get a big break. You see your favorite show and you hear your song play in the background. This would be ecstatic if you were getting paid, however if your work is being stolen then your joyous day may be filled with angst and frustration. A company much larger than your own independent brand swoops in and takes your work for themselves. What are you to do? Dealing with such a situation is difficult. Here are four things that you should keep in mind when dealing with plagiarism thats carried out by a larger entity than your own.

The Plagiarism Could Be a Violation of Intellectual Property Law

If you compose and publish an original piece, its protected under intellectual property law. Specifically, your content is protected under copyright, which lasts for the authors entire life plus an additional 70 years. If a big brand steals your content and you notice it, which obviously means youre alive, thats a violation of copyright law.

Seek Out a Consultation from a Legal Professional

In the world of intellectual property law, attorneys are often willing to represent you on an contingent basis. In other words, you wont be required to pay for legal help up front. If, and only if, your attorney manages to win a settlement for your cause will you be required to pay a portion of the settlement to your defense.

Whether you seek help from an experienced attorney in intellectual property matters and be informed during the consultation whether their pursuit of your case is worth their time. Keep in mind that not all attorneys will be open to defending you in a court of law. Thats okay, howevershop around if youre interested in defending your intellectual property rights.

Determine Whether Pursuing a Lawsuit Is Worth the Money

Youve just been told by an attorney that theyre willing to assume the pursuit of your case. If the potential payout of the case is high enough, your defense will likely be willing to work on a contingent basis. However, if the payout isnt great enough, such as if youre just interested in pursuing the case for the principal of the matterpunishing plagiarizersyoull be required to pay your defense up front. Determine whether you can afford the defense or not, as well as whether its worth it to you.

Name and Shame the Thief

Compose a write-up of your allegations. Provide proof of your allegations in the accusationplenty of proof, mind youor else you could be targeted for libel. Share your composition wherever possible on the Internet. You should do this immediately if you dont plan on pursuing the thief legally. Ask your attorney of its a good idea to publish it immediately if you do, in fact, decide to pursue the case. They will probably ignore you until it affects their PR. That branding will motivate them to repair their damage.

Everything Considered

If a major brand steals your work as an underpaid independent publisher, youre certain to be nothing short of angry. Make sure to compose yourself before taking any actions, as acting out of anger could make you look bad. Following these steps is a good place to start in the event that a major brand steals your original work.