Matthews, NC asked in Intellectual Property for North Carolina

Q: Can I file a copyright claim??

I have social media page with almost a million followers. I make collages of people to show how they can change. There another page reuploading everything from my page and putting it on his without giving credit. I have the persons permission in each post to use their pictures. Since I created the collages for my page do I have rights to them ?? Out of my last 50 posts 45 of them are on the other page. The person has been block for a while what steps can I take ??? Should I have a claim ???

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2 Lawyer Answers
Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Answered

A: A copyright attorney would have to assess your specific situation and facts to determine your rights and potential options.

Assuming for the sake of discussion that you own the copyright in the pictures/collages, in order to file a federal copyright infringement lawsuit to seek an injunction and possible monetary damages and attorney fees, the collages/pictures ("works") would first have to be federally registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. But a lawsuit is a serious, possibly very expensive undertaking, and any damages/monetary relief will be tied to publication and copyright registration dates, as well as a determination by a federal court of the "willfulness" of the infringement, assuming infringement is proven. See, e.g., 17 USC 412, 503-504 (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/)

Short of a lawsuit, some ISPs have "take down" options. See, e.g., https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/634636770043106. However, a potential complainant should be cautious about filing "take down" notices (or sending nasty letters or taking other legal action) unless he's certain of his rights via an opinion from a competent IP attorney.

Good luck.

Kathryn Perales agrees with this answer

Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick
PREMIUM
Answered

A: Yes you do have rights in the collages. Hopefully you also have federal registrations for your works, for that will permit you to make a claim for statutory damages and attorneys' fees.

Your next step should be to consult with an experienced copyright lawyer to make sure you satisfy the requirements to send a DMCA takedown request.

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