Legal Question in Intellectual Property in California

Greetings. My question is about liability as an LLC owner in terms of copyright infringement.

I'm trying to learn if one would create a single member LLC that, for example - would be sued for copyright infringement for using a copyrighted image in a web publication, is the owner of the LCC personally liable in any way?

Thanks for any responses

Asked on 5/07/13, 9:11 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Charles Perry Law Offices of Charles R. Perry

If the owner of the LLC contributed to the infringement -- ie chose the image to be posted, authorized its posting, participated in its posting, then yes, the owner would have exposure. This follows the general rule that a person is liable for the torts he personally commits or in whose commission he participates.

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Answered on 5/07/13, 12:23 pm

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Whoa; I'm not so certain this is correct. It is entirely possible that a properly-capitalized and operated LLC would shield the owner from personal liability. That's what the first "L" in LLC is supposed to mean. Of course, many single-member LLCs are thinly capitalized and sloppily operated, so that the "LLC veil" can be pierced in court.

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Answered on 5/19/13, 8:28 pm

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