Copyright infringement is when information is used or distributed without permission from the person or organization that owns the legal rights to the information. Downloading and distributing copyright material without explicit permission from the copyright owner is in direct violation of the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It applies to music, videos, games, images, texts, and other media in both personal and academic use.
While these activities may seem harmless, they may provide basis for sanctions or disciplinary action, and in serious violations, civil litigation and/or criminal prosecution. Cost of settlement in some cases can range from a few thousand dollars for the initial offense which may be just a download of a single song to substantially more for subsequent offences along with risking a possibility of a criminal record and jail time and subject to the University’s disciplinary proceedings. Any infringement of intellectual property is prohibited by Coppin State University.
How can you Protect Yourself?
Use Legal alternatives. Some copyrighted materials are made available for public use via agreements with the copyright owners.
Avoid using peer-to-peer and other file sharing software. Using peer-to-peer networks for file sharing in violation of copyright is prohibited. These applications are often used by attackers to transmit malicious code. These applications may also give unauthorized people access to your financial or medical data, personal documents, sensitive corporate information, or other personal information.
- Avoiding Security Infringement – US-CERT