Downloading movies illegally is considered stealing, and just like any other crimes, it comes with different consequences. One of the most recent examples of such consequences is the TCYK letter sent to internet subscribers accused of downloading and sharing copyrighted materials. This letter served as copyright infringement notices, and they must be responded to immediately so that the recipients need not appear in court, put their names to shame, and go through so much expense and hassle.
Here are some more consequences of illegally downloading movies and other copyrighted materials:
*Criminal and Civil Penalties
Copyright infringement penalties vary from one country to another, but if you are from the U.S., the FBI handles the investigation and implementation of copyright laws here, and violators face up to 5 years in prison and/or fines that could reach to $250,000 or even more. Aside from criminal penalties, accused infringers may be sued by copyright owners, and if the former loses the law suit, he should be able to pay back the entire copyright holder’s lost profits. The violator is also asked to pay for the opposite party’s legal fees, including attorney fees. Plus, he could be forced to pay an amount of $200-$150,000 for the punitive damages, which is usually determined by a jury.