Answered By: Matt Laidlow
Last Updated: Jun 07, 2024     Views: 2

What is copyright infringement?

Copyright infringement is a violation of a copyright owner’s rights outside of fair dealing or other user rights. Generally, it is up to an owner to take action when they discover their copyright in a work has been infringed. A copyright owner may sue for actual damages (losses due to the infringement), but they can also claim set amounts under the Copyright Act. For commercial infringements, an infringer may have to pay between $500 and $20,000 per infringement, and for a non-commercial infringement the fine is between $100 - $5,000 per infringement. 

Although rare, there are also criminal penalties for copyright infringement which may include fines and/or imprisonment, but they are generally only imposed on commercial infringers.

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