What is copyright infringement?

To succeed on a claim of copyright infringement, a plaintiff must show: (1) ownership of a valid copyright; and (2) that the defendant copied constituent elements of the work that are original to the plaintiff. A Copyright Office Certificate of Registration obtained within five years of first publication constitutes prima facie evidence of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate. 17 U.S.C.S. § 410(c). Even where a copyright is presumed valid, however, a defendant may overcome the presumption by presenting evidence and legal argument sufficient to establish that the works in question were not entitled to copyright protection. Copyright protection extends only to original works of authorship. 17 U.S.C.S. § 102(a).


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