I have to address this issue, because it happens to so many people and it is heartbreaking when their artwork is stolen. Uploading any image without permission or credit of the Author is Copyright infringement and is considered theft. It is a major offense and should NOT be taken lightly. I want to point out the actual penalties for copyright infringement if the creator takes the individual who stole their work to court.
The legal penalties for copyright infringement are:
1.) Infringer pays the actual dollar amount of damages and profits.
2.) The law provides a range from $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed.
3.) Infringer pays for all attorneys fees and court costs.
4.) The Court can issue an injunction to stop the infringing acts.
5.) The Court can impound the illegal works.
6.) The infringer can go to jail.
7.) Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.
That's right, if you steal someone's artwork, you must pay for ALL COURT COSTS, FEES, DAMAGES, and ANY PROFIT YOU MADE FROM THEIR WORK. Up to $150,000 for EACH image stolen, not including the fines along with it. That means if you have stolen multiple works from several individuals, you could be looking at serious financial damages, possibly even MILLIONS. Let that sink in for a second before you take someone's artwork and claim it as your own.
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