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Direct Copyright Infringement

Learn about the elements copyright infringement: ownership of a valid copyright and the unauthorized exercise of one of the rights in a copyright owner’s bundle.


A copyright owner enforces its rights with a claim for copyright infringement. Federal district courts have exclusive subject-matter jurisdiction over claims for copyright infringement. In other words, copyright-infringement claims can be brought only in federal court, not in state court.

To prevail on an infringement claim, a copyright owner must prove that it owns a valid copyright and that an accused infringer has exercised one of the owner’s exclusive rights without authorization. A...