A formal opinion can constitute good faith and defend against a claim of willful infringement. Large statutory damages for copyright infringement depend on a showing of willfulness which may require the infringer acted with “actual knowledge or reckless disregard for whether its conduct infringed upon the plaintiff’s copyright.” Universal Studios, Inc. v Ahmed, 29 USPQ2d 1775 (ED Pa 1993). An element considered in the determination of willfulness is an obligation of reasonable inquiry, including a Copyright Office records search. M.S.R. Imports, v R.E. Greenspan Co., 220 USPQ 361 (ED Pa 1983), aff’d without opinion, 732 F2d 146 (3rd Cir 1984). Whether a party is, or should be, familiar with copyright law and the need to secure permission to reproduce copyrighted works is also considered in a willfulness inquiry. Viacom International, Inc. v Fanzine International, Inc., 2001 U.S. Dist Lexis 11925 (SD NY 2001).
We will scrutinize the validity of the copyright. We will compare your use to the registered work. We consider all fair use factors.