Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project
IP: Copyright: Enforcement Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY


The US Government can prosecute copyright infringement where it demonstrates to a court that a person has

  • Infringed a copyright
  • Willfully
  • Either for
  • Commercial or personal gain (where "personal gain" now means anything of value), or
  • during a 180-day period with a total value of more than $1,000. [NET Act]
  • [17 U.S.C. § 506]


    [18 U.S.C. § 2319]

    Statutes of Limitations: Cases must be initiated within five years of the offending action. [17 U.S.C. § 507(a)]

    Domain Name Seizures by DHS ICE

    Civil Remedy

    Owners of copyrights can bring their own actions for infringement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §§ 501-511. The copyright owner must establish "(1) that Plaintiff owned the copyrights, and (2) that Defendants copied Plaintiff's copyrighted work." [Futuredontics]

    Registration: Prior to initiating an action in court, the owner must have registered the material in question with the Library of Congress Copyright Office. [411]

    Remedies available to the court include an injunction (stop doing what you are doing), [17 U.S.C. § 502] [Streambox] impounding, destruction or other reasonable disposition of copies, [17 U.S.C. § 503] and damages (either actual or statutory). [17 U.S.C. § 504]

    Statute of Limitations : Actions must be initiated within three years of the complained of act of infringement. [17 U.S.C. § 507(b)]

    See also Remedies under DMCA; P2P Music; Subpoenas.