Board-Certified Criminal Defense Representation In Central Florida

What penalties might I face for violating the U.S. Copyright Act?

by | Jan 17, 2020 | White Collar Crimes |

If you’ve ever gone to make a photocopy of some information in a book at an office supply store or library, then you’ve likely seen signs posted warning of the potential penalties associated with violating the U.S.’s copyright laws. Individuals who duplicate another’s creative work, whether for personal or financial gain, may be both sued civilly and brought up on federal copyright infringement charges.

What you should know about the Copyright Act is that it protects an author’s exclusive rights to any creative work that they produce. Three criteria must be met for this to be the case though.

The person alleging that their copyright has been violated must be able to assume physical possession of the work. That individual must hold a valid copyright on it as well. An individual’s duplication of the copywritten works must also fail to meet fair-use standard exemptions.

One of the first steps that a Florida judge will generally take when someone has been accused of copyright infringement is to impound any illegal works in their possession. The court generally issues an injunction ordering the infringer to discontinue their illicit acts as well.

Judges may assess significant fees of any individual who is found guilty of copyright infringement. It’s common for a defendant to be assessed anywhere from $200 to $150,000 per work. Anyone convicted of such a crime may be ordered to pay damages to include lost profits. A defendant may also have to pay both court costs and attorney fees.

A conviction on your permanent record can adversely impact your life in many different ways. Perhaps most importantly, it can make it difficult for you to secure a job necessary to care for you and your family. An attorney can help you identify many different defense strategies that may be appropriate for you to pursue in your Orlando matter. This is especially crucial when the stakes are as high as they are when the federal government is trying a case.