Computer Use, File Sharing, Electronic Devices, and Copyright Infringement: Policies and Sanctions
North Central Institute (NCI) prohibits the misuse or abuse of computer resources, and does not permit students to use resources to illegally download or share copyrighted digital files.
Electronic Device usage at NCI is governed by NCI’s Electronic Device Policy. This policy identifies appropriate use of these resources expected of all users. The policy provides information concerning copyrights and the expectation that users will comply with the law. Additionally, abuse of Electronic Device resources and NCI facilities will not be tolerated.
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. The recording, film and entertainment industry monitors illegal copyright activity and reports misuse from NCI’s network to us for investigation.
Violation of NCI policy may result in the immediate suspension of any or all of the following: the user’s account, network and internet access. These privileges may be permanently removed without refund of any technology fees. Students will also be subject to the regular disciplinary procedures which may include suspension or dismissal from NCI.
Civil and criminal penalties are also included in copyright infringement. 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. 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 details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504 and 505 at www.copyright.gov and www.educause.edu.