File Sharing Lawyers
What Is File Sharing?
Shared files (often containing music and movies) can be downloaded over the Internet, as well as over smaller networks. Generally, shared files are stored on and made available by your personal computer. If you are sharing files, you are most likely also downloading files that other users share.
What's Wrong With File Sharing?
Although there are ways in which file sharing can be legal, it is illegal to download or distribute entire copies of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright owner. Despite the many controversies, both legal and ethical, surrounding the issue of file sharing, individuals are being sued by the music, motion picture, and video industries.
What Laws Affect File Sharing?
Various U.S. laws protect intellectual property rights. The following federal regulations are commonly referenced with regard to file sharing:
- The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which criminalizes both production and dissemination of technology that circumvents anti-piracy measures and increases the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet; and
- The 1997 No Electronic Theft (NET) Act, which outlaws the reproduction, distribution, and sharing of copied electronic copyrighted works (including songs, movies, games, and software programs), even if the copier or distributor acts without commercial purpose and receives no private financial gain.
What Can I Do If I Receive A Copyright Infringement Notice?
If you were unaware of the legality of your online activity prior to receiving an infringement notice, you should certainly understand the accusations being made once you have been alerted. The Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been active in locating and attempting to prosecute individuals who share copyrighted music. If you have been contacted, you should talk with an attorney about possible courses of action.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
Lack of knowledge is not a defense to copyright infringement. Therefore, if you have been charged with illegal file sharing or copyright infringement, you should contact an intellectual property lawyer as soon as possible. She will be able to inform you of your rights and if necessary, represent you in court.
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Last Modified: 11-18-2010 12:42 PM PST
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