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.
For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov.
Students thought to be in violation of copyright law through illegal downloading or peer-to-peer file sharing while using the NETC network may be subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct. The code provides information on student responsibilities and rights as well as disciplinary procedures, sanctions, and the process for conducting a student hearing.
Non-student users of the NETC College network will also be subject to copyright law and regulation. Violations of said copyright law may lead to loss of user privileges and/or criminal penalties.
NETC uses a technology-based deterrent called the Barracuda 310 Web Filter to monitor and filter web traffic. The college uses this web filter to prevent access to peer-to-peer networking sites or file sharing.
The effectiveness of the Barracuda 310 Web Filter will be reviewed every quarter in the months of March, June, September, and December when IT personnel will perform tests and attempt to access peer-to-peer and file sharing sites.
Daily monitoring of bandwidth usage will be gauged through accessing the Barracuda 310 Web Filter.
For options to legally downloading copyrighted material, please visit the EDUCAUSE Legal Sources of Online Content.
The websites listed may or may not be accessible through the NETC network as regulated by the Barracuda 310 Web Filter, but they may provide a legal means of downloading copyrighted material through the campus network.