September 02, 2011

Copyright Misconception #3

Copyright infringement is not a crime.

Usually when you hear about someone who is in legal trouble for copyright infringement, he or she is a defendant in a civil suit brought by the copyright owner.  But under some circumstances copyright infringement can also be a crime.  Section 506 of the Copyright Act makes it illegal to willfully infringe a copyright:

- for the purpose of commercial advantage or personal financial gain;
- by the reproduction or distribution of one or more copies or works during any 180–day period with a total retail value of more than $1,000; or
- by making available to a computer network accessible to members of the public a work that is being prepared for commercial distribution when that person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution (this includes when someone leaks an album before its release date or videotapes a movie in the theater before it is available on DVD).

Note that only the first requires the defendant to have made any money from the infringing acts, but all require knowledge of the wrongdoing.  Depending on the severity of the crime, the first and third can earn you up to 10 years in prison and the second can get you up to 6 years, plus any fines.  Criminal charges are not brought often, but it does happen.

Question 7
NAB Show is providing the tickets for this prize and their conference and convention will be going on the same week featuring the latest technologies and trends in media, TV, radio, and film. They also have a free career fair for those looking to get a job in one of these areas. What is the name of the student who got an internship through last year’s NAB Show Career Day?

- Lauren
lauren@internlikearockstar.com | Twitter: @Musicn3rd
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