Bronx Student Online Piracy Defense Lawyer
The early 2000’s saw the rise of online file-sharing services that allowed internet users to illegally possess and distribute copyrighted materials. However, United States copyright law does not allow any person to distribute material to which another party has the intellectual property rights.
As a result, many individuals, especially students on college campuses find themselves in legal trouble when they download or upload movies, music, or software. Under federal law, distributing this material is a felony level crime that may result in heavy fines and a harsh prison sentence.
Just as concerning are the potential penalties that a college or university may levy against a suspected copyright infringer. A school operates outside of the criminal justice system and may impose penalties even if a court does not. A Bronx student online piracy defense lawyer can work to defend you against accusations of online piracy in both United States District Courts and in school disciplinary hearings. By advocating fiercely for your rights, an aggressive attorney could help you secure a better future.
Federal Copyright Infringement Laws and Piracy
Every movie, song, piece of software, and book is protected by federal copyright law. This means that the owner of that particular piece of intellectual property is the only party that can legally distribute it. As a result, it is a crime for any person other than the owner to do so, even if they distribute it for free.
According to 17 U.S.C. §501, the holder of the copyright is the only party who may:
- Reproduce the item
- Prepare derivative works based on that item
- Distribute copies of the item
- Perform or display the item in public
According to this definition, an individual who places a copyrighted movie onto a file-sharing site violates United States copyright laws, regardless of whether another party downloads it.
Under 17 U.S.C. §506, any illegal distribution is a criminal offense. While some offenses are misdemeanors where a maximum penalty is one year in jail, most are felonies with a maximum prison sentence of five years. Online pirating charges are serious and anyone facing them needs to take steps to protect their future by consulting with a knowledgeable Bronx student online piracy defense lawyer.
Impact on the Accused’s Education
While the criminal penalties for online pirating are very serious, students at colleges and universities also need to be aware of the impact that an accusation can have on their education. Schools often require their students to sign on to a code of conduct while taking courses. This typically requires a student to uphold certain morals. Merely being accused of a crime can be considered a potential break of that code and trigger an investigation.
The boards that undertake these investigations have great power. They do not need to follow law enforcement rules concerning the gathering of evidence or the defendant’s right to confront accusers. Subsequently, students facing a school investigation can often feel left in the dark during an investigation.
A Bronx student online piracy defense attorney could provide a valuable service. They could represent the interests of students during hearings, help students prepare, and conduct an independent investigation into the incident to gather evidence to help their case.
Let a Bronx Student Online Piracy Defense Attorney Help
Allegations that an individual has violated copyright laws regarding movies, music, or software are federal charges. A conviction can result in astronomical fines, years of prison time, and even a civil suit by the material’s owner.
If these charges are filed while you are a student, you must also be prepared to defend yourself before a school board that can suspend or even expel you for mere allegations of wrongdoing. A Bronx student online piracy defense lawyer could help in both forums. Call today to get started.