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That is the maximum for the willful infringement of an image that is registered with the copyright office [1] and awards are highly vaiable. [2]

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutory_damages_for_copyright...

[2] http://www.ipinbrief.com/whyitsdifficultpredictstatutorydama...

After the infringement was discovered and before the settlement, I did have to register the photo with the US copyright office. It was a simple procedure and I think I paid $35. This was done to establish that I did indeed hold the copyright Toyota and friends infringed.

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