Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–3214.01. Deceptive labeling.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Audiovisual works” means material objects upon which are fixed a series of related images which are intrinsically intended to be shown by the use of machines or devices such as projectors, viewers, or electronic equipment, now known or later developed, together with accompanying sounds, if any, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as films or tapes, in which the works are embodied.

(2) “Manufacturer” means the person who authorizes or causes the copying, fixation, or transfer of sounds or images to sound recordings or audiovisual works subject to this section.

(3) “Sound recordings” means material objects in which sounds, other than those accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work, are fixed by any method now known or later developed, and from which the sounds can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

(b) A person commits the offense of deceptive labeling if, for commercial advantage or private financial gain, that person knowingly advertises, offers for sale, resale, or rental, or sells, resells, rents, distributes, or transports, or possesses for such purposes, a sound recording or audiovisual work, the label, cover, or jacket of which does not clearly and conspicuously disclose the true name and address of the manufacturer thereof.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit:

(1) Any broadcaster who, in connection with, or as part of, a radio or television broadcast transmission, or for the purposes of archival preservation, transfers any sounds or images recorded on a sound recording or audiovisual work; or

(2) Any person who, in his own home, for his own personal use, and without deriving any commercial advantage or private financial gain, transfers any sounds or images recorded on a sound recording or audiovisual work.

(d)(1) Any person convicted of deceptive labeling involving less than 1,000 sound recordings or less than 100 audiovisual works during any 180-day period shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.

(2) Any person convicted of deceptive labeling involving 1,000 or more sound recordings or 100 or more audiovisual works during a 180-day period shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.

(e) Upon conviction under this section, the court shall, in addition to the penalties provided by this section, order the forfeiture and destruction or other disposition of all sound recordings, audiovisual works, and equipment used, or attempted to be used, in violation of this section.


(Dec. 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-164, § 114a; as added Oct. 31, 1995, D.C. Law 11-73, § 2(b), 42 DCR 3277; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 205(d), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-3814.1.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $10,000” in (d)(1), and for “not more than $50,000” in (d)(2).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 205(d) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.