Distribution of Copyrighted Files
Elizabethtown College receives notices from The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and others that represent copyright holders regarding the illegal distribution of copyrighted files such as music and movies. These notices indicate that a computer on our campus network was making copyrighted content available for distribution. Per the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the college is legally obligated to attempt to find the owner of the computer and to have the infringing files removed.
The owner of a computer containing the infringing files will be charged a fee of $50.00 to cover costs associated with the College responding to the copyright holder, searching the server logs for relevant information and corresponding with the person that owns the offending computer. The fee for each subsequent offense will be $100. These fees are for normal situations. Should extensive time be involved for a special situation, a fee will be levied to cover the cost of the staff time. A third violation will result in the issue being referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for resolution through the student judicial process.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires us to inform students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to 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. 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.