Chapter 6

Penalties for Infringement: Paying the Price


Failure to comply with the rules of copyright can be very expensive. The law imposes a number of penalties for misuse of copyrighted works. Most important, the courts enforce money damage claims. The costs of noncompliance can be profits and actual damages, but sometimes these values are difficult to determine. To ensure that the copyright owner is compensated when works are infringed on, the law establishes statutory damages, which may be sought in lieu of the others. Statutory damages can be awarded in the range of $750 to $30,000 per work infringed; if the actions of the infringer are determined to be willful, these claims can balloon to $150,000 per work.

A copyright owner does not ...

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