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Digital Copyright, P2P, and File Sharing

Unauthorized copying and distribution of licensed software or copyrighted materials is a crime that can result in civil and criminal penalties.

The College recognizes that often laws related to copyright are misunderstood. To this end, the various college policies, resources, and practices are in place to help educate our students and employees. The expectation is that our students and employees will respect the copyrights of authors and creators. The College is legally compelled to establish policies, educate our students, and take reasonable actions to assure networked resources are not used to facilitate illegal activities, whether intentional or unintentional. Anyone using the College's networked resources agrees to abide by the Acceptable Use Guidelines of the College.

This web page addresses requirements imposed upon the College by Federal Law – H.R. 4137, Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA).

You could be at risk if you have ever done the following with works that are created by others:

  • Scanned a document or picture
  • Copied-and-Pasted from web sites or other digital resources
  • Digitally recorded or otherwise captured video or audio
  • Downloaded documents, songs, or videos
  • Emailed copied or downloaded materials to anyone other than yourself
  • Posted lyrics, poems, or portions of books or articles to a web site or social media site
  • Uploaded images, documents, video or audio to publicly accessible web sites
  • Linked to web sites that contain illegally posted materials
  • Used peer-to-peer (P2P) networks to share music, videos, or other copyrighted works with others

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the disciplinary actions for violating campus policy or federal law?

The College's Administrative Policy explains actions that are taken against the student by the college. Further penalties for violation of federal copyright laws may be imposed.

Are there legal alternatives to peer-to-peer file sharing?

Yes, a comprehensive list of  Legal Sources of Online Content  is maintained by Educause.

Does the college use any technology-based deterrents?

How can I report suspected copyright infringements?

Infringements can be reported to the designated agent of the College.

Where can I learn more about Copyright issues?


Are there other College policies or guidelines addressing copyright?


What federal laws regulate copyrighted works?