Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 Summary
In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), the information available via the CWC Digital Copyright web pages are provided in order to:
- Explicity inform students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including peer-to-peer file sharing may be subject to civil and criminal liabilities;
- provide a summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws; and
- A description of the institution's policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using CWC information technology system.
Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws
- 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" damages 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 Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQ's at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.
Legal Alternatives to Illegal Downloading
CWC's Policy can be found in the Student Handbook under the Student Disciplinary Code, section Prohibited Conduct, Section C, 18, b. which states "Unauthorized transfer of a file".
The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Disciplinary Code.
- Warning: A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
- Probation: A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
- Loss of Privileges: Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Attendance at educational/counseling sessions related to reason for disciplinary action, i.e. alcohol/drug abuse resistance education, anger management training, etc., at offenders own cost.
- Fines, in addition to any restitution imposed:
- $50 for first violations of any kind
- $100 for second violations of any kind
- Higher fines may be levied at the discretion of the Associate Vice President for Student Services
- Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Discretionary Sanctions: Work assignments, service to the College or other related discretionary assignments (such assignments must have the prior approval of the Vice President for Student Services).
- Housing Suspension: Separation of the student from Housing for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Housing Expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from Housing.
- College Suspension: Separation of the student from the College for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- College Expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from the College.
- Restriction Order: Limits the student’s visitation privileges from certain areas on campus. This may be placed in conjunction with the Riverton Police Department’s assistance.