Notice of Copyright
All images on this site are copyright Shannon Connor Castle, all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.
You're free to view this site; however, you cannot download, save, forward, store, copy, or make derivative works from the images this site's content. If you want a copy of a work, prints and (sometimes) or original works are available for purchase.
Why copyright is important
Copyright protects creators from having their works copied or redistributed without permission. Copyright owners have the exclusive right to do what they will with their works, including authorizing others to reproduce them (physically, electronically, or otherwise) and control distribution, including sale, leasing, or rental. Under United States and international copyright law, copyright notices are not required for works first published after February 28, 1989. Creators have and retain copyright to their works automatically, and those copyrights are among an artist's most valuable business assets.
Copyright infringement penalties
In the United States, copyright owners bring a civil lawsuit in Federal District Court to enforce their copyright; the Federal government can also choose to bring criminal charges. Copyright infringement penalties can be significant. In civil actions, a court can order destruction of infringing material and means of creating it — can can even order those items impounded without notice before trial. Of course, the court can order payment of provable damages, lost profits, and legal fees.
Copyright owners can choose to pursue "statutory damages," which are a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $20,000. However, if the infringement was "willful," potential damage awards increase to $100,000 for each act of infringement.
Willful copyright infringement is a criminal offense. At a minimum, the offense is a federal misdemeanor, with a prison sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $5,000. However, courts levy more significant penalties agains infringers who make multiple copies of a work, or who copy costly works. Those acts are felonies, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Second and subsequent offenses carry a prison term of up to ten years. Companies that willfully infringe can fined up to $500,000.
Please respect copyright
Artists want to create, not pursue legal action or prosecution. Please respect artists' copyrights, trademarks, and intellectual property.