Technology Troubles

Examining the Rights and Responsibilities of Consumers

What went wrong?

James, an entrepreneurial 16-year-old high school junior, has discovered a market for his bootleg copies of current movies downloaded from an Internet site. Through word-of-mouth advertising at school, James has developed a market for his DVDs and is enjoying his new found income. Sharon and Jeanette, business law students, observe James selling the DVDs to a group of freshmen and believe that he may be engaging in illegal activity. After much consideration, the future attorneys decide to disclose James’s activities to a school administrator. The police are called. James is questioned and his parents are notified.

Has James broken the law?

Copyright laws offer that you can reproduce the original work without making your own profit out of it. People who had originally created the product that is being copied have the right to take action against James because it is their work. Sharon and Jeanette are the ones who took this "issue" to the school administrator. So therefore they had to of knew what he is doing wrong and tell them what they heard and have seen going on, they did this because they felt that he is breaking the law. James' parents are a part of this and they could be questioned because he is a minor but they arent capable of what he is doing.

What punishments is he looking at?

James may face many punishments and penalties for doing this. The person has to pay the actual amount of money to the person that has the damages and profits, the law provides a range from $1,000 to $150,000 for each work infringed. The infringe pays for all attorney's fees/ court costs, the court can issue an injunction to stop the infringing costs, the court can impound the illegal works, the infringe can then go to jail. This case will then need to proceed to the federal court.