Copyright and Peer to Peer Sharing

The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires institutions to help deter the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials and unauthorized peer-to peer distribution of intellectual property.

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. 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. Civil penalties include actual or “statutory” damages from $750.00 to $30,000.00 per infringement. A court can also assess costs and attorney fees. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment up to five years and fines up to $250,000.00.

LWT incorporates a “deep freeze” software on the student computers which blocks those computers from downloading anything or sharing with other computers. Students are allowed to print material  from the computer only after authorization of a staff member. LWT also responds to notices or letters of possible copyright infringement received from legitimate sources. We will cooperate fully with any investigation into a student or employee of the school.