Policy for Electronic Resources & Copyright Infringement

The purpose of this policy is to communicate guidelines for the appropriate use of the Clarkson College Electronic Resources relating to potential Copyright infringement. It also serves as a plan for dealing with Peer-2-Peer use on the Clarkson College network.

Definition: Clarkson College electronic resources are defined as the hardware, software, network and network connections within Clarkson College and all connections to the Internet. This definition also includes Peer-2-Peer processes and use.

  1. Users will not download (nor attempt to download) music, data, or any other copyright materials from others that are engaged in illegal activities involving copyrighted, trademarked, or patented products.
  2. Users will not access, copy, or transport programs, files, or data without prior authorization. User software may be used on computers only if it has been legally obtained and if its use does not violate license or copyright restrictions. This policy specifically pertains to any Peer-2-Peer uses as well as other types of electronic copyright violations.
  3. Users will not (nor attempt to) inspect, modify, distribute or copy privileged data, music, or software, except for users who have been given prior special permission to work with data in accomplishing their job responsibilities, e.g. reporting, etc.
  4. Users will not infringe on others' use of the electronic services or deprive them of those resources.
  5. Users will not attempt to modify systems infrastructure. Users will not damage or obstruct the operation of any of Clarkson College's computer systems or networks.
  6. Users will not supply, or attempt to supply, false or misleading information or identification in order to access computer systems or networks.
  7. Users will not attempt to subvert the restrictions associated with any computer accounts.

Information Services will manage bandwidth and review user accounts and network traffic to insure that violations to this policy are reported the administration for disciplinary action of all offenders.

Violations of any on the above items will lead to loss of access privileges to all Clarkson College computing and networking systems.

Further disciplinary actions for violating the policy will be governed by but may not be limited to the applicable provisions of student handbooks, faculty and staff handbooks, policies of Clarkson College, Statutes of the State of Nebraska, and federal law, including civil and criminal legal actions. The following is a summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws:

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.

For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQ's at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.