What is the current copyright piracy law?

I found the copyright act 1968, but it's like hundreds of confusing points, can someone tell me what are the punishments for doing what when it comes to downloading pirated movies, please?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Copyright law at-a-glance.


    Special Note about International / Australian Copyright:

    Countries that are members of the Berne Convention will have very similar copyright statutes. You can see more at http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ38a.pdf.

    Australian Copyright Basics:



    Under US federal law, a copyright owner has specific exclusive rights. These rights include the rights to duplicate, distribute, create derivatives, and publicly display a Work.

    To transfer anything via any network, you must OWN the copyright (or have written permission from the copyright holder in certain circumstances).

    This is where people get confused.

    Ownership of a copyright means that you actually created the material or own the copyright (like George Lucas owns Star Wars).

    Purchasing a CD, DVD, song on iTunes, or buying software is not a purchase of the copyright... it is a purchase of a license to use the copyrighted material.

    It is not "yours." One copy is licensed to you, for your private use.

    Think of a song, video or software application like a rental car. When you rent a car, you don't get to keep it. You don't own the car, you own the right to use the car for a period of time.

    When you buy a song, you purchased the right to use a copy of the song. In most cases, you purchased the right to use the copy "forever." (In some instances, specifically with software... your purchase of the right to use an application is limited on time... like a month, or year.)

    Uploading or transferring material that you do not own, is very serious.

    I often see responses on here like... "lol, what are they going to do? Come to your house? lol"


    6 years ago Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed a federal lawsuit against a 12 year old little girl, and subpoenaed a dead grandmother for testimony in trial.

    Both you and the other parties on the network could be prosecuted as follows, for each violation:

    -- Cost to defend and win a copyright lawsuit: $500,000 (avg)

    -- Cost to defend and lose a copyright lawsuit: $500,000 (avg) + up to $150,000 (statutory), or more

    -- Cost to defend and settle a copyright action: $8,000 to $15,000 (avg), per violation (In other words, to settle a lawsuit against you for "innocently" distributing movies to your friends, you're looking about about $12,000, per DVD title).

    -- Criminal penalties that can be imposed by the government: Up to 5 years in prison and $250,000 fine for the first offense, and up to 10 years in prison and $500,000 fine for additional offenses.

    Copyright law is very complex. Let me know if you have any further questions.

    G.C. Hutson, Chief Executive and Senior Partner

    Sadien Intellectual Property, Inc.


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  • H4
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    You say Copyright Act 1968, are you Australian?

    Yes, there is potential for criminal offences I believe though it depends what exactly you do. In reality, I don't think they would take criminal action for an individual just downloading for personal use, but the copyright holder could take civil action and you would have to pay a large fine.

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  • Besides possible criminal sanctions, the copyright holder may sue for statutory damages. Depending on what the person did with the pirated movie it could be from 30k to 150k per movie. So, if it is 10 movies, that's about $300,000, but typically it is much less.

    The copyright holder will most likely bring suit in Federal district court in the district of the offender and offer a settlement from $2k-$14k depending on the level of infringement.


    And of course, Australia has signed a treaty with the US to permit enforcement of copyrights in Australia under US Federal law, so if you are talking about Hollywood movies, this applies in Australia as well.

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