All users of Internet servers at Albright College are reminded that any redistribution or copying of copyrighted material requires the permission of the copyright owner. Failure to adher to this standard is a violtion of the College's Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources Policy.
The United States Copyright Office publishes a circular titled "Copyright Basics." This is a good place to begin with questions that you have about copyright law. The Copyright Office also makes other copyright information circulars and form letters available on the Web.
Copyright Basics is also the name of an animated six minute video. Created in 2009 by the Copyright Clearance Center, this video details how to share copyrighted material at work while still respecting the rights of content creators.
Map of Use Issues from the University of Minnesota poses a series of yes/no questions to aid in determining copyright questions for a particular work.
This guide is meant to address questions of copyright that commonly arise in the Albright College community, especially those pertaining to the use of copyrighted material in the classroom and while using Moodle. What is presented here is NOT LEGAL ADVICE and should not be taken as such. This is just an introduction to copyright for faculty and educators to know where to start when looking for copyright guidance. If a concern or question is not addressed in this guide, this does not alleviate you of the responsibility to comply by U.S. Copyright Law.
Albright College takes copyright infringement seriously. 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 States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.
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” 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, 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 U.S. Copyright Office, especially their FAQ’s page.