Enforcement of a single copyright by an individual owner is often cost prohibitive. The Copyright Office describes the problem faced by copyright owners involved in small copyright claims disputes on its website, under Remedies for Copyright Small Claims.
The Copyright Act protects the gamut of works, from single photographs with little commercial value to motion pictures worth millions of dollars. The probable cost of bringing a federal lawsuit outweighs the possible recovery for some copyright owners. The result is that some copyright owners are unable to enforce their rights granted by the Copyright Act. The possibility of statutory damages and attorney fees does not help these copyright owners, since statutory damages and attorney fees are not available in every case and since statutory damages and attorney fees are awarded only after the copyright owner has paid for litigation expenses.