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15 Prosecutions
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5 Convictions
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CITE

    17 USC Sec. 506                                             01/05/2009

EXPCITE

    TITLE 17 - COPYRIGHTS
    CHAPTER 5 - COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT AND REMEDIES

HEAD

    Sec. 506. Criminal offenses

STATUTE

      (a) Criminal Infringement. -
        (1) In general. - Any person who willfully infringes a
      copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of
      title 18, if the infringement was committed -
          (A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial
        gain;
          (B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by
        electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more
        copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which
        have a total retail value of more than $1,000; or
          (C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for
        commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer
        network accessible to members of the public, if such person
        knew or should have known that the work was intended for
        commercial distribution.
        (2) Evidence. - For purposes of this subsection, evidence of
      reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work, by itself,
      shall not be sufficient to establish willful infringement of a
      copyright.
        (3) Definition. - In this subsection, the term "work being
      prepared for commercial distribution" means -
          (A) a computer program, a musical work, a motion picture or
        other audiovisual work, or a sound recording, if, at the time
        of unauthorized distribution -
            (i) the copyright owner has a reasonable expectation of
          commercial distribution; and
            (ii) the copies or phonorecords of the work have not been
          commercially distributed; or
          (B) a motion picture, if, at the time of unauthorized
        distribution, the motion picture -
            (i) has been made available for viewing in a motion picture
          exhibition facility; and
            (ii) has not been made available in copies for sale to the
          general public in the United States in a format intended to
          permit viewing outside a motion picture exhibition facility.
      (b) Forfeiture, Destruction, and Restitution. - Forfeiture,
    destruction, and restitution relating to this section shall be
    subject to section 2323 of title 18, to the extent provided in that
    section, in addition to any other similar remedies provided by law.
      (c) Fraudulent Copyright Notice. - Any person who, with
    fraudulent intent, places on any article a notice of copyright or
    words of the same purport that such person knows to be false, or
    who, with fraudulent intent, publicly distributes or imports for
    public distribution any article bearing such notice or words that
    such person knows to be false, shall be fined not more than $2,500.
      (d) Fraudulent Removal of Copyright Notice. - Any person who,
    with fraudulent intent, removes or alters any notice of copyright
    appearing on a copy of a copyrighted work shall be fined not more
    than $2,500.
      (e) False Representation. - Any person who knowingly makes a
    false representation of a material fact in the application for
    copyright registration provided for by section 409, or in any
    written statement filed in connection with the application, shall
    be fined not more than $2,500.
      (f) Rights of Attribution and Integrity. - Nothing in this
    section applies to infringement of the rights conferred by section
    106A(a).

SOURCE

    (Pub. L. 94-553, title I, Sec. 101, Oct. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 2586;
    Pub. L. 97-180, Sec. 5, May 24, 1982, 96 Stat. 93; Pub. L. 101-650,
    title VI, Sec. 606(b), Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5131; Pub. L. 105-
    147, Sec. 2(b), Dec. 16, 1997, 111 Stat. 2678; Pub. L. 109-9,
    title I, Sec. 103(a), Apr. 27, 2005, 119 Stat. 220; Pub. L. 110-
    403, title II, Sec. 201(a), Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4260.)

HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES

                         HOUSE REPORT NO. 94-1476
      Four types of criminal offenses actionable under the bill are
    listed in section 506: willful infringement for profit, fraudulent
    use of a copyright notice, fraudulent removal of notice, and false
    representation in connection with a copyright application. The
    maximum fine on conviction has been increased to $10,000 and, in
    conformity with the general pattern of the Criminal Code (18
    U.S.C.), no minimum fines have been provided. In addition to or
    instead of a fine, conviction for criminal infringement under
    section 506(a) can carry with it a sentence of imprisonment of up
    to one year. Section 506(b) deals with seizure, forfeiture, and
    destruction of material involved in cases of criminal infringement.
      Section 506(a) contains a special provision applying to any
    person who infringes willfully and for purposes of commercial
    advantage the copyright in a sound recording or a motion picture.
    For the first such offense a person shall be fined not more than
    $25,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both. For any
    subsequent offense a person shall be fined not more than $50,000 or
    imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
                                AMENDMENTS
      2008 - Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110-403 amended subsec. (b)
    generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "When any
    person is convicted of any violation of subsection (a), the court
    in its judgment of conviction shall, in addition to the penalty
    therein prescribed, order the forfeiture and destruction or other
    disposition of all infringing copies or phonorecords and all
    implements, devices, or equipment used in the manufacture of such
    infringing copies or phonorecords."
      2005 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109-9 reenacted heading without
    change and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as
    follows: "Any person who infringes a copyright willfully either -
        "(1) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial
      gain, or
        "(2) by the reproduction or distribution, including by
      electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies
      or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a
      total retail value of more than $1,000,
    shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18,
    United States Code. For purposes of this subsection, evidence of
    reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work, by itself,
    shall not be sufficient to establish willful infringement."
      1997 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105-147 amended subsec. (a)
    generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows:
      "(a) Criminal Infringement. - Any person who infringes a
    copyright willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or
    private financial gain shall be punished as provided in section
    2319 of title 18."
      1990 - Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 101-650 added subsec. (f).
      1982 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97-180 substituted "shall be punished
    as provided in section 2319 of title 18" for "shall be fined not
    more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or
    both: Provided, however, That any person who infringes willfully
    and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain
    the copyright in a sound recording afforded by subsections (1),
    (2), or (3) of section 106 or the copyright in a motion picture
    afforded by subsections (1), (3), or (4) of section 106 shall be
    fined not more than $25,000 or imprisoned for not more than one
    year, or both, for the first such offense and shall be fined not
    more than $50,000 or imprisoned for not more than two years, or
    both, for any subsequent offense".
                     EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1990 AMENDMENT
      Amendment by Pub. L. 101-650 effective 6 months after Dec. 1,
    1990, see section 610 of Pub. L. 101-650, set out as an Effective
    Date note under section 106A of this title.
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