A picture of civility

Carolyn Wright over at Photo Attorney has some good reminders for copyright owners who are contemplating filing lawsuits against infringers:

While most photographers will contact an infringer either directly or through an attorney to attempt to resolve an infringement claim before filing suit, the law doesn’t require it. Instead, you may file your copyright infringement lawsuit immediately after finding the infringement without ever contacting the infringer.  But it’s usually best to first contact an infringer for a variety of reasons…. [emphasis added]

Carolyn cites the expense of litigation, needless escalation of conflict, alienation of a former/future client, and (potentially) mistaken accusation as reasons to talk to a suspected infringer before filing a lawsuit.

As in so many areas of life and law, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.  An overly litigious, scorched-earth approach to copyright enforcement rarely results in good outcomes, even (especially?) for copyright owners.

I applaud Carolyn’s civil approach to resolving copyright conflicts.  I can only wish that everyone took her talk-first, file-later approach.

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