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Piracy laws just got tougher.

By Jane Easter Bahls

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The government is cracking down on those who threatenintellectual property rights. Consider the Family Entertainment andCopyright Act of 2005, which says anyone caught making anunauthorized recording at a movie theater can be sentenced to up tothree years in jail. The same goes for those convicted ofinfringing on any copyrighted work "being prepared forcommercial distribution."

In October, the Sentencing Commission toughened prison sentencesfor people convicted of illegal file swapping. Now, violators canget 10 to 16 months in jail for uploading a pirated file--even ifno one downloads it.

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