TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Movie Studios to Sue Internet File Traders

Re: Movie Studios to Sue Internet File Traders

Lee Hollaar (
Sat, 20 Nov 2004 13:14:38 +0000 (UTC)

In article <> (Robert Bonomi) writes:

> Statutory copyright infringement penalty, $30,000 per occurrence. Each
> making of a copy is a separate violation.

Not quite right. It's up to $30,000 PER WORK infringed, and up to
$150,000 per work if the infringement is willful. The minimum is $750
per work, unless the infringement is completely innocent and then it
is $200 per work.

But that means that at the minimum for an innocent infringement of
"sharing" 1000 songs is $200,000, and there is nothing that the judge
can do about it.

> As to the prior poster's question regarding jail time -- the answer is
> "yes". The "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" _did_ introduce
> *criminal* prosecution and penalties for certain kinds of copyright
> infringement. In general, the criminal provisions deal with those who
> _distribute_, for money or otherwise, infringing copies.

Criminal infringement has been part of copyright law for over a
century. The DMCA didn't change that. In fact, the only thing the
DMCA did regarding criminal infringement is carry it over to the new
anticircumvention provisions, with the same penalties.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But many IP addresses are not static,
> but dynamic. What do they do then to find the person who 'stole' the
> movie or the piece of music? PAT]

The request is for the name of the user of the IP address at a
specified time. If the ISP does not have that information because
there are no logs of IP address assignment, it will indicate that to
the court. But a misrepresentation to the court would lead to the ISP
being held in contempt, with harsh penalties.

Note that the current suits are against people providing movies or
songs on the systems, not people who are only downloading them. That
makes it easier to get their IP addresses, since it is used to contact
the "sharer" to download the material.

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