One of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of copyright law is the significance of intent. The elements of direct copyright infringement are (1) the plaintiff’s ownership of a valid copyright in a work and (2) the defendant’s copying of protectable expression from that work. The defendant’s intent is not part of this analysis. One hears the term “innocent infringer” thrown around, but this moniker is of far less value than is often imagined.
Take, for example, sculptor Robert Davidson’s recently-filed case against the US Postal Service (USPS) in… More