Skip to main content
CRM 1500-1999

1859. Other Criminal Statutes

The sale, reproduction and distribution of counterfeited or pirated copies of a copyrighted work may frequently be part of a larger fraudulent scheme. By marketing counterfeit works as genuine, many defendants may be engaging in a scheme to defraud retailers and consumers. Assuming that jurisdictional requirements are met, such a scheme may violate the federal mail and wire fraud statutes. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1343. But see United States v. LaMacchia, 871 F. Supp. 535 (D. Mass. 1994). Prosecutors should remain cognizant, however, of the potential preemptive effect of federal copyright legislation. See this Manual at 1844. In cases that may call for the application of the wire or mail fraud statutes to a scheme involving violations of intellectual property rights, prosecutors are encouraged to contact the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, and to consult its Intellectual Property Rights Prosecution Manual.

[cited in JM 9-71.001]