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  • Edison State Library

    Copyright Compliance

    Edison State Community College takes the following steps to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials:

    • Use of bandwidth (“packet”) shaping and traffic monitoring as technology-based deterrents, and acceptance of Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices.
    • Mandatory Student acceptance (via signature) of a network “LAN” agreement (as part of a Student Electronic Account Policy) specifying, “No student shall use Edison State-owned computers to make unauthorized copies of software licensed to any party or other proprietary media for use on or off campus,” and “Student misuse of Edison State computing facilities or network resources can result in disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct,” as set forth in the Student Handbook .
    • Mandatory Employee acceptance (via signature) of an Employee Computer Usage Policy (Employee “LAN” Agreement), specifying, “Illegal copies of software are prohibited. Anyone found copying software other than for backup or archival purposes is subject to disciplinary action, and may be subject to civil and criminal penalties,” and “Be aware that copyright laws apply to all material. For example, it is inappropriate to copy any material owned by others from any source without permission of the owner.”
    • Periodic review of the effectiveness of its plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials via monitoring and following best practices, as set forth by Educause .
    • Providing legal alternatives to illegal downloading of copyrighted material via centralized software licensing and textbook adoption point-persons and procedures, available for review at any time.


    Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws

    Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

    Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.

    Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. 

    Copyright Information

    Copyright Act (17 U.S.C.) 
    TEACH Act  (Copyright law for online use) 
    U.S. Copyright Office 
    The Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance 
    EDUCAUSE on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 
    Interactive Guide to Using Copyrighted Media in Your Courses  (Baruch College) 
    Copyright and Fair Use  (Stanford University) 

    Plagiarism Information

    Minimizing Academic Dishonesty