Asked in Contracts and Copyright for New York

Q: How can I prove my ownership of a story when I do not have documented legal proof but I have other evidence to Prove it

I have a story, but I do not have any documented proof of ownership. If this story is stolen, can I prove my ownership with other evidence, and what are the evidence?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Licensed in New York

A: If you have drafts of the story which precede the drafts in the possession of whoever you are alleging claimed authorship. And you can lay a foundation for the authenticity of this evidence regarding the date it was created, then yes, possibly. Copyright in a work vests from the moment the work was created.

Cesar Mejia Duenas agrees with this answer

Cesar Mejia Duenas
Cesar Mejia Duenas pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Miami, FL
  • Licensed in New York

A: There is certainly more information needed in this case. The plaintiff has the burden of proof in a copyright action so you should be able to produce any type of evidence that you drafted that story. First, if you drafted the story and the initial draft was stolen you may want to consider filing a police report against the person who stole it.

You may use the metadata from your documents to prove when it was created.

You may use the metadata from the stolen document to prove it was stolen.

You may produce your own testimony, or that of another person familiar with when the story was written, and how the story was stolen.

You did not mention what other evidence you have so I am unable to asses whether that evidence would be admissible.

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