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Summary of Penalties

  Summary of Penalties for Violation of College Policy

and 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.)

It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff, students and anyone using the facilities or resources of Berkshire Community College to read, understand and follow the BCC Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy.  Failure to observe this policy may subject individuals to disciplinary action pursuant to applicable handbooks or collective bargaining agreements, up to and including expulsion from the College or termination of employment. 

Failure to observe this policy may also result in violation of civil and/or criminal laws.  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 http://www.copyright.gov/, especially their FAQ's at http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/.