A person who violates the rights of an author, who has a copyright, can have an infringement suit placed on them. The owner of the copyright shall serve written notice upon the infringer and any related parties having interest in the matter. The infringer could have published the work here in the United States or imported the work from any other country.
The owner of a copyright is required to send a written notice to the infringer stating that they are the owners of the copyright. Any court that has jurisdiction over the matter can take it up and can transfer all records to any other court in the United States. The court can issue an injunction and seize all copies of the alleged material. Depending on the outcome of the case, the material can either be destroyed or given back.
The remedy can include the actual damages incurred by the owner of the copyright or statutory damages as provided. The statutory damages may be claimed by the author prior to the decision in the matter. They may run anywhere from a low of $750 to $30,000 depending on the findings of the court. If the infringement was willfully committed then the court could go as high as $150,000. If however it was found that the Infringer did it unknowingly, then the court could go as low as $200.
The court could also award attorney's fees and costs to the author if the infringement took place for the purpose of financial gain. There are time limits provided by the law for criminal and civil suits. For criminal cases the statute of limitations provides 5 years after the cause of action and for civil suits it is 3 years. After any action that results in a guilty verdict all offending material can be destroyed by the government at its sole discretion.
The law is clear about copyright that anyone who infringes the rights of a valid copyright owner shall have to pay the damages and suffer the consequences. It is up to the courts to find a defendant innocent or guilty.
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