If you are a writer of any type, copyright is an important right you have under the law to the ownership of your creations. It gives you the exclusive right to use your creations and prevents others from using your work. However, people may still try to use your creations without your permission. This constitutes an infringement of your copyright.

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, you have a few options for handling a copyright infringement. Once you become aware of someone using your work in violation of your rights, you can take steps to make them stop using it or to seek damages they caused by using your work.

Injunction

Your first option is an injunction, which is a court order telling the person to stop using your creation. The court will serve the notice to the person.

Reclaiming the work

The court may also order the person to turn in or surrender any item the person uses to reproduce, create or otherwise assist him or her with using your copyright work. This might include taking printing equipment or printed materials, recording devices or records, or any other type of equipment and materials that the person uses to duplicate or create your copyrighted material.

Damages

You may also go through the court to seek damages from the person. If the person’s actions caused you to lose money or lead to other expenses for you, then the court may award you damages to compensate you. The court may also award damages as punishment to the other person and for your attorney costs.