There are both civil and criminal remedies available for violations of the Anticircumvention and the Content Management Information provisions, Section 1201 and 1202.
Individuals claiming to be victims of violations of the DMCA may seek the following damages in federal court: [17 U.S.C. § 1203]
- Equitable damages resulting in an injunction against the offending activity (cannot result in a prior restrain on free speech); [17 U.S.C. § 1203(b)(1)]
- Impounding, alteration, or destruction of the offending device;
- Monetary damages in either the form of [17 U.S.C. § 1203(c)]
- Actual damages or
- Statutory damages "in the sum of not less than $200 or more than $2,500 per act of circumvention, device, product, component, offer, or performance of service" and
- Costs and attorney's fees for the prevailing party (you have to be successful in the lawsuit - a settlement is not prevailing in the lawsuit).
Bad guys violating the DMCA again and again can be subject to treble damages. [17 U.S.C. § 1203(c)(4)] Damages can be reduced or eliminated where "the violator was not aware and had no reason to believe that its acts constituted a violation" (in the case of a nonprofit library, archives, educational institution, or public broadcasting entity, the damages shall be eliminated where "the violator was not aware and had no reason to believe that its acts constituted a violation"). [17 U.S.C. § 1203(c)(5)]
The government can prosecute individuals who violate Sections 1201 or 1202 "willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain." Convicted individuals may be
- "fined not more than $500,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both, for the first offense; and"
- "fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both, for any subsequent offense." [17 U.S.C. § 1204(a)]
Nonprofit libraries, archives, educational institutions, or public broadcasting entities are immune from criminal prosecution. [17 U.S.C. § 1204(b)]
Statute of Limitations:
Cases must be initiated within five years of the complained of activity. [17 U.S.C. § 1204(c)]
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