Copyright and the Higher Education Opportunity Act

The following information is being shared in compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act.

This is a good time of year to remind everyone about sharing copyrighted material.  Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing is a technology that allows users to make files available for other users to download and use, but the files that are shared with others must not be protected by copyright.  An item that is protected by copyright means that the owner has restricted the distribution of their work, and it can’t be shared without their permission.  

 How can you ensure you are in compliance with the law?

 1. Use web sites and applications that promote legal file-sharing.  See this web site for legal options.

 2. If you do not need to share files, don’t install P2P file-sharing software on your computer.

·         If you have P2P file-sharing applications installed on your computer, you may be sharing copyrighted works without even realizing it. Even if you do not intend to engage in infringing activity, installing P2P software on a computer can easily result in you unintentionally sharing files with other P2P users, and you may then be personally responsible for the legal and financial consequences.

What are the consequences of sharing copyrighted materials?

Copyright infringement constitutes a violation of Truman policy and may create potential liability for both civil and criminal actions.  A content owner may bring an infringement claim against a user and by law is entitled to a minimum of $750 for each infringement; if intent to infringe copyright is demonstrated, statutory damages may go as high as $150,000 per infringement. 

Click here  for more information on copyright issues.

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