Illegal Downloads, Copyright, File Sharing and Piracy

Copyright is a very complex area of law. It protects original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium. It is basically a form of legal response to social, cultural and economic trends that are introduced by new technologies. Copyright law covers literary, artistic, musical, and architectural works and computer software. The basic notion behind copyright law is that it protects expression of ideas, not ideas themselves. The Internet presents a variety of new problems and temptations. It is so easy and socially accepted to download music and movies without buying them that many persons do not even think twice about it. However, downloading content, file sharing and pirating material can subject you to criminal sanctions (even though most copyright matters are usually civil in nature). Depending on the amount of material illegally downloaded, the punishments can be very severe and costly.

Illegal downloading of music on peer–to–peer networks is the most common example, but illegal downloads of software, movies and videos are also prevalent.


Copyright infringement is governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Sections 143A, 143C and 143E. Copyright crimes are punishable by up to a year in the house of correction or by a fine of up to $25,000 or both. If, however, the crime involves between 100 and 1,000 illegal sound recordings or between 7 and 65 illegal audio–visual recordings, it is punishable by up to 2 years in the house of correction or a fine of up to $100,000 or both. You could be looking at state prison for up to 5 years and/or a fine of up to $250,000 if the crime involved 1000 or more sound recordings or 65 or more audiovisual recordings.

Speak With an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today at 617.492.3000 or 800.481.6199

If you have been charged with a crime involving illegal downloads, copyright, file sharing or piracy, it important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Altman & Altman LLP offers a team of criminal defense attorneys who provide some of the highest–quality representation in Massachusetts. We have a thorough understanding of all areas of criminal law, and we are zealous advocates for our clients. We know that facing a criminal charge is stressful, and we will be on your side throughout the entire process.

For over 40 years, the Boston Criminal Defense Law Firm of Altman & Altman, LLP has been providing outstanding legal services to clients throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our Greater Boston criminal defense attorneys have the experience, knowledge and courtroom expertise required to defend charges involving illegal downloads, copyright violations, filing sharing and piracy. Our team of MA Cyber Law Lawyers delivers straightforward answers to the difficult legal questions.

If you are facing charges stemming from copyright violations, illegal downloads, file sharing, piracy or any other cyber related offense, please Contact the Law Firm of Altman & Altman, LLP to schedule a Free Initial Consultation with one of our Greater Boston Cyber Law Attorneys. Our team of skillful MA Cyber Law Lawyers will outline your legal options and will fully explain your rights. All consultations are completely confidential.

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