When Must I File a Copyright Infringement Action?

A statute of limitations is a specific law that states the maximum amount of time you have to sue someone for a particular action. The objective of a statute of limitations is twofold:

To ensure that any viable cause of action is brought within a reasonable amount of time
To prevent loss or alteration of any evidence or other pertinent information
Three Years

For actions relating to copyright, the applicable statute of limitations is 3 years. This means that you must file a lawsuit, usually in federal court, within 3 years of the date you become aware, or should have been aware, of the infringement or other conduct affecting your rights.

Be aware that to obtain the protection and relief under the federal copyright laws, your work must have been properly registered with the Copyright Office.

No Reprieve

Also, the statute of limitations for copyrights will be enforced no matter how unfair it may seem if you decide to take action when it is too late. This prevents problems with evidence such as faded memories, lost documents, and missing witnesses, and to control case flow in already overburdened courts.

Keep Accurate Records

Therefore, it’s important to keep accurate records of anything that may be relevant to a future copyright dispute. The consequences may be serious for those who neglect to take timely action to enforce their rights.