Morgen Bowers' answer Generally speaking, if it is just one person who has not do anything in furtherance of actually stealing, then no, it isn't illegal -- i.e. it isn't a illegal to just have the idea in your head, you have to take some sort of action to accomplish the goal (e.g. downloading or copying the protected material--which on it's own could be an illegal infringement depending on the circumstances). However, if you discuss the intent with one or more other people, it becomes a conspiracy, which could be a...
Michael Hales' answer I was recently addressing this very issue in my business law class. The short answer is yes, anytime content is put down in a tangible medium, including social media, it receives copyright protections. The interesting twist is that some social media sites have tried to claim that they hold the copyright for content posted on their sites, but some have backed down from this position.
Will Blackton's answer Yes, that sounds like copyright infringement. Statutory damages for copyright infringement range from $750-$150,000 if the work was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office before infringement or within three months of the creation of the work. In order to get a better idea of what is a reasonable settlement number or what courts have awarded in the past, you'd have to provide more information about the nature and circumstances of the infringement.
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