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Direct copyright infringement

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U.S. copyright law Edit

Under U.S. copyright law, to succeed on a claim for direct copyright infringement, a plaintiff must prove two elements:

(1) ownership of the copyrighted material, and
(2) violating of one of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner by the defendant.[1]

Liability for copyright infringement is strict liability — it does not require intent or any particular state of mind, although willfulness is relevant to the award of statutory damages.[2]


  1. 17 U.S.C. §501(a).
  2. Id. §504(c).

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