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Copyright Policy

Copyright Policy

Over the past few years, the Internet has exploded into a revolutionary tool for business, communication, education and commerce. During this time, computer networks and personal computers have made it easy to copy computer programs, movies, and recordings. Since most of this material is copyrighted, the right to make copies is restricted. However, recent statistics show that copyrighted piracy is growing exponentially. College computer networks are a haven for illegal file copying because of the high-speed connections and high-end computers. Making copies of any copyrighted material without the right to do so is both a violation of law and University policy. Most people who make illegal copies know it is wrong, but are unaware of how severe the penalties can be.

The US Copyright Law (title 17 of the US Code) has very serious penalties for violations. These include significant fines for each copy. If you copy more than $1,000 worth of material, there are criminal penalties that include substantial fines of up to $250,000 and up to 10 years prison time for flagrant cases of infringement. Copyright owners may also attempt to hold the University liable for copyright violations that take place using the University network.

The software, record, and movie industries are stepping up their enforcement of copyright laws. They are using computer technology to detect those who run servers or simply download something they have no right to possess. Auburn Universitys Copyright Compliance Officer is routinely contacted about violations that have occurred at Auburn. In the past instances, we have been able to resolve these infractions by having the individual remove the material in question. However, recent cases in Oregon and North Carolina have been pursued more vigorously. Two students in Oregon were caught and prosecuted under criminal statues. One received a suspended two-year sentence, the other spent time in jail. A student in North Carolina spent 41 months in prison for copyright infringement.

What happens at Auburn University if you are caught? By stature, the University can immediately block your network access when we receive notification that a particular computer has been involved in a violation of the law. You may also be taken to court by the copyright holder or charged in Federal Court with a crime. You should also know that falsely certifying either that you have the right to material or have removed it can result in federal perjury charges as well as copyright infringement.

This text came from the following document: Copyright Policy