Skip to menu
Skip to content
The Yau Law Firm
Focused on Protecting Businesses and Representing the Injured

Copyright Infringement May Result In Criminal Penalties

The Yau Law firm is proud to represent clients in all areas of practice relating to intellectual property. Yau Law has stood by their clients providing legal advice and representation through every stage of the business: from protecting an invention to creating contract negotiations over the invention’s sale, Yau Law has protected businesses big and small alike.

The last thing owners and creators of intellectual property want is for someone else  to use the property as their own. This can be accomplished by someone taking credit for and earning profit from someone else’s work. But, here’s something that not many people know: one does not need to actually profit from the intellectual property to infringe upon someone else’s rights. One area at the forefront of intellectual property litigation is that of copyright infringement.

What is it? Simply put, a copyright is “a legal device”  that gives the creator of a creative work an exclusive right to publish and sell that work.  That means copyright owners have the power to control the reproduction of this work and to receive payment from other people who reproduce such work. One such method for a copyright owner to receive such payment for the reproduction of their work is to grant licenses to other people. Reproducing such work without the owner’s consent, and violation of such copyright is called an infringement.

Copyrighted property can easily be infringed upon because of the high demand for music, movies and other creative works over the internet. Something that many don’t think about is that copyright infringement has both a CIVIL action (meaning the copyright owner can sue the infringer in civil court) and a CRIMINAL action (meaning that it is a crime). Take for instance the case of Javier Ferrer.

Recently, the U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Virginia sentenced a Florida man to 23 months in prison for conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.  Ferrer pleaded guilty in November and was sentenced on Wednesday. Prosecutors stated that Ferrer was part of a group conspiring to release copies of movies on the internet that were recently shown in theaters.  According to court records, the group would secretly capture audio recordings of the movies in theaters and then would synchronize the audio files with the video files. These recordings would then be uploaded to the internet for distribution. Four other individuals pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison with terms ranging from 23 to 60 months.

Intellectual property is so important to the livelihood of businesses that the United States has recognized a criminal penalty for infringement. Contact us today to find out how we can protect your business from copyright infringement.


Leave a Reply

« »