Copyright Information Students Must Know

Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities.

In order to participate in any Title IV, HEA program, JCCC must implement a written plan to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of the institutions' network without unduly interfering with the educational and research use of the network. The plan includes:

Use of one or more technology based deterrents

JCCC blocks all downloading from known peer-to-peer file sharing sites. In addition, the message displayed on the login screen for wireless Internet access includes the following statements:

Johnson County Community College Wireless Network
Warning: 

No student shall engage in the following: Use college computing systems for illegal or criminal activity Use college resources to harass, defame or attack others… Use college resources for the distribution, downloading, uploading, or sharing of any material, software, data, document, sound, picture, or any other file that is specified as illegal by any federal or state laws or considered to be proprietary. Please review the Student Code of Conduct 319.01, Website Use, and Social Networking Guidelines for more information.

Members of the campus community may report copyright related misuse of college computing systems via the Ethics Report Line.

Mechanisms for informing the community about appropriate versus inappropriate use of copyrighted material, including the required consumer information disclosure required by law

Procedures for handling unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including disciplinary procedures

  • Summary of JCCC Student Sanctions -  Section 6) of the JCCC Student Code of Conduct (Board Policy 319.01) includes:

College Computing Systems - No student shall engage in the following... Use college computing systems for illegal or criminal activity…Use college resources for the distribution, downloading, uploading, or sharing of any material, software, data, document, sound, picture, or any other file that is specified as illegal by any federal or state laws or considered to be proprietary.

The Code of Conduct also states that the college reserves the right to take disciplinary action in accordance with college policy 319.02-Student Disciplinary Action. College disciplinary action can result in sanctions including but not limited to warning, probation, suspension, emergency suspension, or expulsion. In addition, the college may refer a student conduct matter to appropriate authorities if determined necessary by the college.

  • 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 website of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov.

Procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials by users of the institution’s network using relevant assessment criteria

  • Information Services monitors network traffic types and would block content as appropriate.
  • Financial Aid will periodically update the Student Consumer Disclosure website, after reviewing requirements and consulting with other college departments as needed to ensure the proper mechanisms are in place.
  • The campus copyright committee periodically reviews copyright related student conduct violations, copyright related issues from the Ethics Report Line, and Information Services reports of network traffic types to ensure that deterrents remain effective. 

The institution shall, to the extent practicable, offer legal alternatives for downloading or otherwise acquiring copyrighted material