Copyrights Gone Wrong

Noteworthy Copyright Violations

More often than you might think, copyrights are violated when people have their creative works used without permission. There are many examples of copyright violations in music, film, photography and software development. These incidents underline the importance of securing copyright protection through the US Copyright Office in order to protect your rights to your work.


Violating music copyrights can come in many forms. Unauthorized copying and distribution, use of samples, or use of music as a component in a greater work without permission are all examples of violating music copyrights.

That’s right: without permission from the artist, it is a violation of their copyright to use their song in your YouTube video.

Additionally, some recording artists take issue with other artists whose songs sound similar to their own. Many popular artists, including Beyoncé, Coldplay and Gretchen Wilson, have been accused of copying key elements from other artists’ songs.

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Films such as Batman Forever and The Devil’s Advocate have come under fire for the unauthorized use of artwork as a visual element within the film. Featuring artwork such as a painting or a sculpture without the permission of the artist can be considered copyright infringement.

Even the James Bond series of films has been marred by copyright controversy. Thunderball and Never Say Never Again are both based on the same Ian Fleming book, which is based on the same screenplay that Fleming wrote with two other co-authors. The rights to the characters from that screenplay were disputed for years, causing two movies to be made by separate studios that are not only based on the same story, but also feature the same actor, Sean Connery, in the role of James Bond.

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Copying software from one computer to another is an example of software copyright infringement. While some software authors release open source software or Freeware to be shared freely, others retain rights to their work.

There are also examples of developers stealing the work of other developers and repackaging that work as their own. Even if only portions of copyrighted software are used, it can be considered copyright infringement.

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