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Anyone making unauthorized copies without a copyright owner’s permission, distributing unauthorized copies, using a sample without permission, or allowing performance of the work in public without proper payment of public performance royalties is in violation of one or more of the copyright owner's exclusive rights.
Once a song has been registered, the full weight of copyright law can be used to protect the song, should it be used unlawfully. Penalties for using a copyrighted work without permission can be substantial, running anywhere between $750 and $30,000 for each infringed work. If a defendant willfully infringed, that is, he or she knew your song was protected by copyright, statutory damages can rise to $150,000 per infringed work.