Is an employee of a small/startup company, at risk if the company is committing copyright or general IP infringement?

Asked on October 18, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The law has far reaching arms and websites have been held liable for the infringement even of its users (like in downloading copyrighted music).  There is also something called "contributory infringement" and this occurs when a party knows of an infringing activity and substantially participates in that activity. And there is vicarious infringement as well.  While these may not extend to each individual employee, knowledge of the wrong doing and actively participating in its practices places you in a precarious situation and could open you up to liability. See consultation with specifics. 

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