UNIVERSITY CATALOG: 2017-2018

Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws

Anyone who is found to be liable for copyright infringement may be liable for either the owner’s actual damages along with any profits of the infringer or statutory damages of up to $30,000 per work infringed. In the case of a willful infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. (See 17 U.S.C. §504.) Courts also have discretion to award costs and attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party. (See 17 U.S.C. §505.) Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment and fines. (See 17 U.S.C. §506 and 18 U.S.C. §2319.)