Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wanted: The FBI Seal of Approval

A new federal regulation regarding the FBI’s Anti-Piracy Warning (APW) Seal took effect on August 13th. The new section 1authorizes use of the APW Seal by all U.S. copyright holders, subject to specific conditions of use. Copyrighted works can include, but are not limited to, films, audio recordings, electronic media, software, books, photographs, etc. 

The purpose of the APW Seal is to remind media users of the serious consequences of pirating copyrighted works. Use of this seal does not indicate that the FBI has reviewed or validated copyright interests in the particular work and does not provide greater legal protection to the work. It simply serves as a widely recognizable reminder of the FBI’s authority and mission with respect to the protection of intellectual property rights.

Those wishing to use the APW Seal must obtain the image directly from our website and display it directly adjacent to the authorized warning language. Additionally, copyright holders are encouraged to use independent, industry-recognized copyright anti-circumvention or copy protection techniques to discourage copying of the APW Seal. The new 41 CFR Section 128-1.5009 also prohibits use of the APW Seal on any work whose production, distribution, sale, public presentation, or mailing would violate the laws of the United States. Any use indicating the FBI has approved, authorized, or endorsed any work or product, or that the FBI has determined that any portion of a work is entitled to protection of the law, is also prohibited.

The Anti-Piracy Warning (APW) Seal has been approved by the U.S. Attorney General as an official insignia of the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice. The purpose of the APW Seal is to help detect and deter criminal violations of U.S. intellectual property laws by educating the public about the existence of these laws and the authority of the FBI to enforce them. Any copyright holder who complies with the conditions of 41 CFR Section 128-1.5009 can use the Seal.

The APW Seal can only appear on works that meet all of the following:
1. Are copyright-protected (no registration of a work is required to use the seal);
2. Are subject to protection under U.S. Criminal Code provisions; and
3. Would not violate federal law if produced, sold, publicly presented, or distributed by mail or in affecting interstate commerce.

Download FBI Anti-Piracy Warning Seal by clicking here and then clicking again to see the terms of use (lawful use requires the below authorized text to be placed immediately adjacent to Seal on the copyrighted work, see 41 CFR Section 128-1.5009(e)2).

"The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by fines and federal imprisonment."

Several alternate forms of the warning language will be available in the near future.


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