US LAW U.S. copyright law allows a successful plaintiff in a copyright case to obtain an award of

3000 WordsApr 23, 201912 Pages
US LAW U.S. copyright law allows a successful plaintiff in a copyright case to obtain an award of statutory damages for copyright infringement by his sole election in lieu of actual damages or an accounting of defendant’s profits. The award is called special or extraordinary largely because it does not require any proof that the plaintiff has suffered an actual harm from the infringement or that the defendant has made a profit from the infringement.[n2] Plaintiff can choose to elect at any time up to the final judgement, and the award is to be granted in any amount that the court considers “just” in a range between $750 and $30,000 per infringed work, and up to $150,000 per work in case of a willful infringement. [n3] The United States…show more content…
For example, along with some new guidelines created for non-willful infringement cases,[n3] the most significant change adopted was a rule that governed that statutory damage awards were now to be given “per infringed work” [54] instead of “per infringement” as the older Act of 1909 had established. This change was in response to the excessive awards that had resulted from the “per infringement” standard sometimes.[56] Regrettably, the ways in which the new provision broadened the statutory damages far outweighed the narrowing effects of the provision. First, the new provision set an increased amount maximum award [70]. Second, it allowed for sole discretion of plaintiff to elect statutory damages at any point up to the entry of final judgement [71]. Third, the provision no longer provided guidelines to tailor to different types of infringements of different types of copyrighted works.[72] Fourth, the new provision deleted section 101(b) of the 1909 Act which rules that statutory damages not be regarded as a penalty. Lastly, and most importantly, Congress created in the new provision a higher upper limit amount of the damage award range specifically for willful infringements, [73] which, through subsequent amendments, have increased to $150,000 per infringed work today. Considering that it is ultimately left to the court to determine “just” statutory damage awards, absent

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