In the US, copyright infringement actually can be a criminal offense. This came about as part of the No Electronic Theft Act of 1997. The criminal charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250K fine, or twice the gross gain to any defendant or twice the gross loss to any victim, whichever is greater. On top of that, there is mandatory restitution.
However, the hypothetical case was presumably not a criminal case.
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