Federal Sentencing Guidelines For Criminal Copyright Cases

Here are the federal sentencing guidelines for criminal copyright cases in federal court.

Some of these terms may be a little unclear. Some of those unclear terms are explained in the commentary to this guideline, which you can find here.

§2B5.3.     Criminal Infringement of Copyright or Trademark

(a)       Base Offense Level:  8

(b)      Specific Offense Characteristics

(1)       If the infringement amount (A) exceeded $2,000 but did not exceed $5,000, increase by 1 level; or (B) exceeded $5,000, increase by the number of levels from the table in §2B1.1 (Theft, Property Destruction, and Fraud) corresponding to that amount.

(2)       If the offense involved the display, performance, publication, reproduction, or distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, increase by 2 levels.

(3)       If the (A) offense involved the manufacture, importation, or uploading of infringing items; or (B) defendant was convicted under 17 U.S.C. §§ 1201 and 1204 for trafficking in circumvention devices, increase by 2 levels.  If the resulting offense level is less than level 12, increase to level 12.

(4)       If the offense was not committed for commercial advantage or private financial gain, decrease by 2 levels, but the resulting offense level shall be not less than level 8.

(5)       If the offense involved (A) the conscious or reckless risk of death or serious bodily injury; or (B) possession of a dangerous weapon (including a firearm) in connection with the offense, increase by 2 levels.  If the resulting offense level is less than level 14, increase to level 14.


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