According to the legislation set forth in the No Electronic Theft (NET) Act of 1997, now set forth in United States Code (U.S.C.) Title 18, copyright infringement can be punished in instances where the offense is committed “willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain.” Moreover, occurrences of copyright infringement can be treated, having been determined to represent criminal offenses according to the scope of the infringement committed.
If the copyright of a single work or of several works was violated ten or more times over the course of a 180-day period and with losses to the copyright owner of at least $2500, then this copyright infringement can be treated as a felony. Accordingly, the copyright infringer can be hailed for up to five years or fined for up to $250,000. Misdemeanor copyright infringement of reduced dollar value, individual instances, and duration can involve one year jail terms and $25,000 fines.