Internet Law Attorney
Helping you protect your online reputation
Year after year, Internet has become the most important way of communicating among people, with a massive impact on many areas of life, both professional and personal.
People and businesses reputation can be easily compromised by defamatory material posted on various Social Media platforms, such as Facebook comments, anonymous reviews on Google, or even fake Yelp reviews.
Copyright violation and defamation of character are among the majority of the Internet Law matters that we handle, which include, but are not limited to:
- Anonymous reviews on Google
- Defamatory posts on Twitter
- Fake Yelp reviews
- Defamatory Facebook comments
- Anonymous WordPress Blogs
Internet cases may also include:
- Cyber defamation
- Internet harassment
- Revenge Porn
What is Copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of original works of authorship including musical, literary, artistic, architectural, and other intellectual works (published and unpublished).
Copyright’s owners have the exclusive right to make, sell, reproduce, distribute, license, or copy their works, the right to create derivative works, and the right to perform or display their works publicly. These exclusive rights usually expire 70 years after the author’s death.
In the United States, copyright law is regulated by the Federal Copyright Act of 1976. According to the Copyright Act of 1976, registration of copyright is voluntary and may take place at any time during the term of protection.
Enacted October 28, 1998 by then President Bill Clinton, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a U.S. copyright law that implements two 1996 of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties. The purpose behind DMCA was to create an updated version of copyright laws to deal with the special challenges of regulating digital material.
In addition, the DMCA increases the penalties for copyright infringement on Internet and for circumventing an access control. In 1998, DMCA amended Title 17 of the U.S. Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of on-line services for copyright infringement by their users.
The U.S. Copyright Act, title 17 of the U.S. Code §§ 101 – 810, is a Federal legislation enacted by Congress under its Constitutional grant of authority, to protect and encourage the creation of art and culture by rewarding authors and artists with a set of exclusive rights.
Works of authorship published in a tangible medium of expression falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Copyright Act. First accepted in Berne in 1886 and then in the United States in 1989, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, represent an international agreement governing copyright.
An infringement action may be initiated without registering the work with the U.S. Copyright Office, if the work is from a Berne Convention Country.
In 1897, Congress created the U.S. Copyright Office as a separate department of the Library of Congress, which examines and registers copyright claims. However, registration of a work with the Copyright Office is not a pre-condition for protection. The Office’s registration system is the world’s largest database of copyrighted works and copyright ownership information.
If a case is involved in Internet copyright law, the first thing to do is to file a DMCA takedown notice with Google and the website owner, seeking immediate removal of the copyright-protected material. If this request is not complied with, a complaint in Federal Court should be filed, seeking a temporary as well as a permanent injunction, along with statutory damages and attorneys’ fee.
What is defamation?
Generally speaking, defamation is any false, intentional, and unprivileged statement of fact, either written (libel) or spoken (slander), that harms someone’s reputation.
Sometimes, it is difficult to define what is and what is not a libel or a slander, because each State’s definition is often different. State laws often define defamation in specific ways. Some States put slander and libel together into the same set of laws.
Within the libel meaning, there are three different types of defamatory statements:
1. The statement that is calumnious on its face, and is obviously defamatory;
2. The statement which includes a false innuendo, a defamatory statement that has an inferential meaning, which may vary depending on the geographic or cultural location of the “victim”;
3. The statement which contains a legal innuendo, which is not defamatory on their face, but when viewed together with extrinsic circumstances.
Statements are considered defamation if were made with knowledge that of their falsity, or with reckless disregard of their veracity. There are also statements protected by utter privileges, a complete defense to a defamation claim; an example could be statements made by witnesses in judicial proceedings. On the other hand, public figures (such as celebrities and movie stars) have less protection from defamatory statements, and face a higher burden when attempting to win a defamation lawsuit.
For the most part, if the statement was published, caused injury, was false, and was unprivileged, is considered defamation. The crux of a defamation claim is falsity. Truth is a defense in all defamation cases.
If you have been victim of online defamation you should contact an internet lawyer as soon as possible.
Bertollini & O’Reilly Law Firm, with offices in New York and New Jersey, is one of the very few law firms that handle Internet defamation cases. Our Internet Law Attorneys have a deep understanding of the defamation, privacy and copyright laws. As a New York Litigation Law Firm, we have many years of experience in litigating civil cases in the New York and New Jersey Courts.
Contact a New York Internet Copyright Lawyer for a free initial consultation