Downloading copyrighted content from the Internet, a practice known as "file swapping," is one of the biggest issues in Internet usage. Because thousands of people can access a file, downloading music or films has a huge financial impact on the artist and copyright owner.
File swapping violates copyright laws.
Yes. Owners of the copyrighted songs and movies are filing lawsuits against individuals who download copyrighted material.
SIDEBAR: Currently, members of the Recording Industry Association of America, the main trade organization for music companies and artists, have filed several lawsuits against college students and others, requesting $150,000 in damages per song downloaded.
Parents are responsible for their child's "bad behavior" only to a limited extent, and these limits would apply to a file swapping suit. Typically, state laws put a maximum on the amount of money parents must pay to compensate the injured party. The "cap" can be as little as $2,500.
Yes. If you are convicted of a copyright offense, you are in violation of the Electronic Theft Act, which permits offenders to be sentenced to jail.