Copyright Infringement Policy
Updated: 2/5/10; Reviewed: 10/13/21
Contact: Library Services
The federal Copyright law (Title 17, United States Code, Section 10 et seq.) requires all members of William Jewell College, including faculty, staff, and students, to respect the proprietary rights of owners of copyrights and refrain from actions that constitute an infringement of copyright or other proprietary rights.
William Jewell College has developed this policy and the Fair Use Guidelines to assist members of the College community in complying with federal copyright law and to enable them to distinguish between permitted and prohibited uses of copyrighted materials. All members of the William Jewell College community are expected to familiarize themselves with this information and to comply with its requirements.
Potential Civil and Criminal Sanctions for Copyright Infringement
Faculty members, staff, and students who intentionally violate this Policy place themselves individually at risk of civil and criminal liability. As a general matter, a person who is found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay actual damages or “statutory” damages in an amount of not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For a “willful” infringement, damages may be awarded by a court up to $150,000 per work in fringed. Courts can also assess costs and attorneys’ fees, in its discretion. See 17U.S.C. §§ 504 and 505. Also, “willful” copyright infringement can result in imprisonment of up to five years for a first time offense and additional fines. See 17 U.S.C. § 506 and 18 U.S.C. § 2319.
Peer-to-Peer File Sharing
It is a violation of copyright law to use file sharing software (e.g., BitTorrent, KaZaA, Limewire, etc.) to download music, movies, and other copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder.
All network traffic is subject to monitoring procedures conducted by the Office of Information Technology for purposes of determining compliance with College policies. Outside parties also actively monitor the internet to find incidents of illegal file sharing and may notify the College of such activity. When such a notification is provided by an outside source, the College may disable a person’s network access until the situation is resolved.
If a campus community member is found to have illegally shared files over the College’s network, the full range of disciplinary sanctions are available (along with the civil criminal penalties the person may be subject to), including:
- Indefinite or permanent loss of computer privileges and network
- Denial of future access to William Jewell’s IT resources;
- All disciplinary sanctions available pursuant to the Student Handbook;
- Dismissal from the College; and/or
- Legal action.
Alternatives to illegal downloading include, but are not limited to, iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu.
William Jewell College intends to abide by the Copyright Law of the United States. (Title 17, United States Code, Sect. 101 et seq.) The purpose of the Copyright Law is to give fair and proper use of materials with due regard to the rights of those responsible for the works. The Copyright Law prohibits copying not specifically allowed by the Fair Use provisions found in 17 U.S.C. § 107.
It is not copyright infringement when use of a copyrighted work is considered “fair use.” To determine whether your use is “fair use” federal law calls for a balancing test of all of the following four factors:
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
- The nature of the copyrighted work;
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used in related to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
- The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
None of the above factors alone are determinative of fair use, and they must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. Every fair use scenario is different, and there may be additional considerations based on the format of the copyrighted work. The Fair Use Checklist in Appendix A may be a useful tool in assisting you in your analysis. If you have further questions regarding fair use or whether a particular us e you are contemplating is permissible under fair use, please contact the Library Director. There are additional resources available that can help your analysis, including iBook and a digital copyright lecture titled Introduction to Digital Copyright which is available on iTunesU.
Additional items to keep in mind when considering fair use are as follows:
- Fair use becomes much more strenuous when the work is shared with those other than the faculty, staff and students of William Jewell College. When sharing copyrighted materials with others outside the institution (via email, Google Drive, Dropbox, YouTube or any other means of electronic sharing), you should assume that NO FAIR USE PROTECTION EXISTS (though you may still want to do the fair use analysis). If you create a new work that contains copyrightable material, it will be your responsibility to obtain copyright permission from each source of the material.
- All copying that is not considered fair use must be covered by a licensing agreement or specific permission from those responsible for the work. If copies are made by a third party, any infringement of Copyright Law is the liability of the person requesting the copying. In addition, some existing licensing agreements may be more restraining than fair use. If the College has entered into a licensing or use agreement with those responsible for the work, that agreement supersedes fair use.
- Upon notification of potential copyright infringement, the College will require the work to be withdrawn from all sites. For users who are repeat offenders or for first time violations that are egregious, the College can terminate the use of any/all devices as well as the user’s iTunes University account. The user may raise concerns regarding the infringement claim with the site that brings the notice.
- William Jewell purchases a sufficient number of licenses of programs and applications to fulfill its needs. The license keys are maintained by the Office of Information Technology. Any use of unauthorized software or applications on William Jewell College’s technology assets is prohibited and infringement is the responsibility of that individual.
In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, William Jewell College has identified Rebecca Hamlett, Director of Library Services, as its designated agent. William Jewell College reserves the right to block access or remove material from its systems in the event that William Jewell College receives notification of an infringement claim from a copyright holder or is otherwise notified of such activity.