A copyright is a license to exclusive ownership and usage rights to a piece of intellectual property that is granted by the United States federal government. However, recent legal decisions have allowed for intellectual property cases to be tried and settled in state courts.
According to US Code Title 17, Chapter 3, § 302, a work of intellectual property automatically gains copyright protection at its creation and carries over for a period of 70 years after the author’s death. This means even if the work has not been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, you could face charges of copyright violation if you illegally copy or appropriate all or part of that piece of intellectual property. Copyrights can also spread to more than just written works – drawings, films, artworks, computer software, music, and any other form of intellectual property is also copyright protected.
If you are facing charges of copyright infringement, retain the services of an experienced South Bend criminal defense attorney from the Wruble Law Group by calling their firm at (574) 282-2200 today.
Copyright infringement is a difficult legal area to navigate as federal law allows for certain exceptions to copyright protection. Works of parody and critical review, for example, are allowed to appropriate all or part of works of intellectual property and are not considered theft. However, downloading things like music, movies, and computer software for use without paying for them is protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and can result in harsh punishments if you are caught.
If you are found guilty of copyright infringement, you could be facing the following penalties: