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). Infringement may occur when a copyright protected work is reproduced or distributed without authorization, including when it is uploaded or downloaded from the Internet or otherwise published without permission. Protected works may include (among other works) photographic images; recordings (including class recordings); class materials, including, for example, lectures and slides, assessment materials and examinations, and course readings; music; movies; and television programs. Although there are limited exceptions not requiring permission, such as the doctrine of fair use, sharing substantial portions of such works, including on peer-to-peer networks, without authorization by the rights owner or by meeting the exception requirements is an infringement.
It is the policy of Relay to fully respect all rights that exist in any material protected by the copyright laws of the United States while also encouraging usage of the material that furthers the educational mission of Relay. Relay intends that its faculty, staff, and students take full advantage of all relevant licenses, exemptions, and exclusions (such as the Fair Use Exception, Classroom Performance Exception, TEACH Act, or Libraries and Archives Exception) that are provided for under the copyright laws. If there is no applicable license, exemption, or exclusion to permit use of the material, faculty, staff, and students must obtain permission for the anticipated use from the copyright holder.
Further, the institution is committed to preventing, in so far as practicable, the misuse of Relay's computer network and other information technology resources, including but not limited to the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of its computer network. Relay does not prohibit the lawful use of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing technologies and will support technologies that facilitate legitimate information dissemination and academic collaboration. However, using P2P file-sharing applications for illegally acquiring or distributing copyrighted or licensed material (e.g., music, videos, textual material, etc.) is prohibited on any computer or network administered by Relay.
Compliance with the federal copyright law and with this policy is the responsibility of every member of the Relay community, including faculty, staff and students. Individuals who receive a copyright infringement notice may face disciplinary or employment actions. These actions may include, but are not limited to, loss of network access, mandatory training about copyright infringement, conduct sanctions, and potential dismissal from the institution.
In addition, the unauthorized acquisition or distribution of copyrighted or licensed material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities. Substantial penalties can be imposed for infringement of a copyright. An injunction to stop the infringement is most likely to be the first action. Payment of actual damages for financial loss suffered by the copyright owner may be required. Statutory damages, for which no actual damages need be proved, may be assessed. If the court determines there is an infringement, it may award damages between $200 and $150,000 per item.
Members of the Relay community who willfully violate this policy and the policies incorporated herein do so at their own risk, assume all liability, and must indemnify the institution for loss or damage resulting from their unlawful action.