In 1997, President Clinton enacted the digital rights management No Electronic Theft Law.
The No Electronic Theft Law (otherwise known as NET Act) states that sound recording infringements (including by digital means) can be criminally prosecuted even where no monetary profit or commercial gain is derived from the infringing activity. Punishment in such cases provides up to three years in prison or up to $250,000 in criminal fees.
infringements Before the enactment of the NET Act in 1997, copyright infringement for a non-commercial purpose was not punishable by criminal prosecution.
This law helped distributors and artists because it refined the definition of “monetary gain” by perpetrators ; those accused must be able to provide a receipt for the trafficking of any copyrighted material such as recorded live performances and counterfeit music products (illegal MP3’s).
If found guilty the perpetrators may be fined up to the maximum amount of $150,000 per violation
.
http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/iclp/hr2265.html
http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/netsum.htm
http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/17-18red.htm