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Punishment for violating copyright laws

When a copyright is violated, a copyright holder can ask a court of law to grant an injunction against an individual or entity that is infringing on a copyright. A copyright holder can also seek monetary or statutory damages for the violation of copyright. If the infringer is found guilty by a court of law, there are criminal penalties that can be levelled against the infringer.

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Injunctions

A temporary injunction prohibits an individual or an entity from continuing to violate copyright until a trial or other court action is taken.

A permanent injunction is a final court order that prohibits an individual or an entity from permanently violating copyright.

Monetary Damages

Actual damages are the actual losses experienced by a copyright holder when a copyright is violated.

Profits are the money earned by the individual or entity when a copyright is violated.

Statutory Damages

A copyright holder can request statutory damages, which are calculated per work infringed.

In "innocent infringement," the range of statutory damages is £130 to £97,500 per work.

In "wilful infringement," the range of statutory damages is £487 to £195,000 per work.

When Statutory Damages Are Not Available

Statutory damages are not available if the work is unpublished and the copyright violation took place before the effective date of registration.

Statutory damages are not available for published works if the copyright violation took place after the first publication and before the effective date of registration.

However, statutory damages are available for published works if the copyright violation took place after the first publication and the registration is made three months after publication.

Criminal Penalties

If a violator is found guilty, there is a fine of up to £325,000 or imprisonment of up to five years for a first offence.

For subsequent offences, there is a fine of up to £0.6 million or imprisonment of up to 10 years.

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About the Author

Lesley Aeschliman has been actively writing since 2008. She serves as the Anime editor at BellaOnline and has had works published on several different Web sites. Aeschliman graduated from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in radio-television.

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