Why is this Important?

When we act in good faith, reasonably believing that our actions are fair use, in the unlikely event we are actually sued over a use, we may not have to pay statutory damages, even if a court finds that we were wrong. [link to law]

  • Librarians, archivists & educators, acting within the scope of their employment, are provided special protections, and cannot be sued for statutory damages if they had reasonable grounds for believing their use was fair [section 504(c)(2)]
  • In other cases, if the court finds that an infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright, it may reduce the award of statutory damages to as little as $200

When we do not act in good faith, or we are unable to show evidence that we acted in good faith, we run the risk of being liable for statutory damages: [what are the other potential damages?]

  • Statutory damages for infringements on a single work range from $750 to more than $30,000 as the court considers just
  • If the court finds that infringement was committed willfully, it may increase the award of statutory damages to as much as $150,000