Inspiration can come from the work of others. Individuals in Baton Rouge and other cities across the nation may use the works of others to help guide them. Whether it is at the workplace, at home or at school, doing this is almost natural and a rather innocent act. However, when a person takes the work of another and reproduces it, this could present major issues. In fact, when the work of another is copyrighted and it is reproduced, this is considered copyright infringement.

Over the past few years, the penalties associated with copyright infringement have increased substantially. Additionally, Congress has broadened the scope of behaviors that fall under this white collar crime, causing many more to face these criminal allegations. For first time offenders who make unauthorized reproductions and distribute at least 10 copies or one copy with the retail value of more than $2,500, the penalties are up to five years of imprisonment and fines up to $250,000.

If a person has a criminal record that has a previous copyright infringement conviction, subsequent charges come with the potential for much more severe penalties. The maximum sentence in such a situation would be 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000. In cases where the statutory minimum is not met with regards to the number of copies or the value of the copies, a person could face misdemeanor charges. This could result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $100,000.

Because the penalties associated with copyright infringement and other white collar crimes can be harsh, it is important that those accused of these crimes understand their rights when it comes to asserting a defense. It may be possible to initiate a criminal defense strategy that could help the accused challenge the evidence.