The Information Security Office (ISO) would like to remind everyone that copyright infringements are not only against UTEP Policies, but potentially a violation of the law. Furthermore, downloaded files may pose a threat to the integrity of the UTEP network and other Information Resources as some of these files contain malicious viruses and other unwanted content. A 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 Sates Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, sharing, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.
Summary of Penalties for Violation of The University of Texas at El Paso Policies and Procedures for Copyright Infringements:
- Loss of UTEP Information Resource access privileges (including internet access/e-mail);
- Disciplinary action for employees, up to and including termination of employment;
- Referral to the Office of Student Conflict Resolution, potentially leading to suspension and/or expulsion for students.
Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws:
- 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 for up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.
The "No Electronic Theft Law of 1997" (NET Act) is similar, however it involves digital recordings. Penalties vary depending on whether they are:
- Considered a Crime: Imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense for individual - "willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain";
- Considered a Misdemeanor: Imprisonment of up to one year and/or fine of up to $25,000 for individuals;
- Regardless of whether you expect to profit or not, you are still liable in civil court for damages and lost profits of the copyright holder.
Please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, specifically their FAQ's at www.copyright.gov/help/faq. For more information please go to the following links or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Information Security Policies
- Acceptable Use Policy
- Security Awareness Site - File Sharing
- Peer-To-Peer (P2P) File Sharing
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
- Copyright Law of the United States
- US Department of Education, Higher Education Opportunity Act - 2008
- U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113 § 2319 - Criminal Infringement of a copyright
- Record Industry Association of America (RIAA)