Can I go to jail if I am accused of copyright infringement?
Only in very limited circumstances can copyright infringement be considered a crime.
For someone who is simply downloading movies or songs for personal use, it is almost certainly not a crime. But just because you can’t go to jail doesn’t mean there aren’t potentially serious consequences. People sued civilly by copyright holders often settle must settle for hundreds or thousands of dollars for each infringement. When copyright holders choose not to settle and instead to go forward with a lawsuit, some courts have been even less kind to the infringer.
For example, in the Capitol v. Thomas case, the jury determined that Jammie Thomas-Rasset had to pay $9,250 per song for the 24 songs she shared, totaling $222,000. It was appealed several times and the amount of money she had to pay kept fluctuating, going as high as $1.9 million total. No matter what amount she’ll inevitably have to pay, she’d also have to pay potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of court costs and attorney’s fees.
If you have been accused of copyright infringement and/or someone is threatening to send press “criminal charges” on you for copyright infringement, feel free to contact New Media Rights via our contact form to find out whether you qualify for free or reduced fee legal services. We also offer competitive full fee legal services on a selective basis. For more information on the services we provide click here.