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Copyright Infringement (Including Computer Use and File Sharing)

Columbia State Community College Policy No. 07:08:00 Use of Copyrighted Materials recognizes and respects the exclusive copyright of artists, designers, composers, photographers and all others who originate artistic or intellectual materials. Therefore, the College prohibits copying not specifically allowed by the law, the fair use guidelines, license agreement, or the permission of the copyright holder.

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 and 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.

Computer usage at Columbia State is governed by Policy No. 07:04:00 Use of Information Technology Resources. The purpose is to articulate the rights and responsibilities of persons using information technology resources owned, leased or administered by Columbia State; to protect the interests of users and the College; and to facilitate efficient operation of Columbia State information technology systems. Additionally, the policy states that students may be imposed, up to, and including, expulsion per TBR Policy 3:02:00:01 General Policy on Student Conduct & Disciplinary Sanctions.

Section II. Disciplinary Offenses, D. 28 of this policy states:

Abuse of Computer Resources and Facilities. Misusing and/or abusing campus computer resources including, but not limited to the following:

  1. Use of another person’s identification to gain access to institutional computer resources,
  2. Use of institutional computer resources and facilities to violate copyright laws, including, but not limited to, the act of unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using institutional information technology systems,
  3. Unauthorized access to a computer or network file, including but not limited to, altering, using, reading, copying, or deleting the file,
  4. Unauthorized transfer of a computer or network file,
  5. Use of computing resources and facilities to send abusive or obscene correspondence,
  6. Use of computing resources and facilities in a manner that interferes with normal operation of the institutional computing system,
  7. Use of computing resources and facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or institutional official,
  8. Violation of any published information technology resources policy,
  9. Unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing.

Revised 6/23/2021