Is copyright law civil or criminal?

Under certain circumstances, the violation can also constitute a misdemeanor or felony, which would be prosecuted by the U.S. UU. The civil statute of limitations is three years, but there is a five-year statute of limitations for a federal prosecutor to bring a criminal case against an offender. Federal prosecutors are encouraged to pay special attention to violators who are successfully sued through civil proceedings and yet continue to infringe.

No knowledge or intention is strictly necessary to determine a civil violation, to the extent that it is a strict liability breach. A civil infringement lawsuit is something you wouldn't want to see criminally prosecuted as well. Civil statute imposes strict liability for infringement and high statutory damages, while a wide range of conduct could fall under criminal statutes. Statutory inflation is common when courts receive uncertain or different standards for violating a statute that is both corrective and criminal, where courts refer to legislators, and legislators draft broad laws relying on judicial restraint to restrict their application to small actors.

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