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Copyright Infringement

Lone Star College Copyright Infringement Notice to Students

This communication ("Notice") formally places all students on official notice of College policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement.

Under federal law, Lone Star College must notify all students that (i) unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may result in civil and criminal liabilities; (ii) violating federal copyright laws may result in severe penalties; and (iii) violating College policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing through the College’s technology system (e-mails, uploads, downloads, etc.) may result in disciplinary sanctions. 20 U.S.C. § 1092(a)(1).

To avoid committing unlawful copyright infringement, please thoroughly review the following summaries of applicable laws and College policies.

I. What Is Copyright?

Copyright protects the rights of authors of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain intellectual works. 17 U.S.C. § 102(a).

According to College Policy, copyright means “the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, display, perform, or create derivative copyrightable works.” College Board Policy Manual Section IV.D.8.02(b).

II. What Acts Constitute Infringement of a Copyright?

Infringement of an author’s copyright occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a copied work without the copyright owner’s permission. Students should avoid unauthorized uploading and downloading of copyrighted works. Infringement of copyrighted material may occur through substantial copying of material, reprinting or scanning of material, uploading or downloading of material, or similar acts. Intent to infringe another’s copyright is not necessary for a finding of liability.

Students should also avoid exchanging copyrighted materials through the College technology system. Peer-to-peer file sharing is distributing and sharing digital media using peer-to-peer networking technology, including applications allowing users to use the Internet to exchange files with each other directly or through an intermediary server.

Any copying or sharing of copyrighted materials—through uploading, downloading, peer-to-peer sharing, or the like—violates federal law and can result in civil and criminal liability.

III. College Policy and Penalties on Copyright Infringement.

  1. College Board Policy Manual Section IV.H.2.1 – Compliance with Requirements of the U.S. Copyright Act.

    All members of the System community, including faculty, staff, students, and volunteers, must become knowledgeable about and take action to respect the legal rights of copyright owners, and refrain from actions that constitute an infringement of copyright or other proprietary rights.

    Therefore, LSCS employees may not copy, distribute, sell, reproduce or revise, copyright protected materials unless the use is specifically permitted by:

    1. The U.S. Copyright Act;
    2. Fair use guidelines issued interpreting the requirements of the law;
    3. Express terms of licenses or contractual agreements; or
    4. Written permission of the copyright owner.
  2. College Board Policy Manual Section IV.H.2.3 – Copyright Policy Violations Faculty, staff, and other employees, who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy, place themselves individually at risk of legal action. In such cases, the System may refuse to defend the employee named in the court suit and in these suits the employee may incur personal liability.
  3. College Board Policy Manual Section VIII.A.2.07(e). – Prohibited Use of Computer Systems.
    The following conduct by users of LSC information technology resources will be treated as a violation of this policy and may subject the user to discipline, including loss of computing privileges, up to and including termination for an LSC employee and dismissal for a student:

    (e) The transmission of copyrighted materials without the written permission of the author or creator through System e-mail or any other method for information transmission in violation of U.S. copyright law (See Board Policy Manual, Section IV).

For complete information, view the Lone Star College Policy Manual or view the U.S. Copyright Office website at www.copyright.gov.

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