2018-2019 Academic Bulletin & Student Handbook

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Cleveland Community College is committed to reducing the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. As such, the Vice President of Student Services will provide a Notice to Students outlining federal law, College policy, campus practices, and the potential sanctions applicable to copyright infringement, including unauthorized P2P file sharing via the campus network, every term via student email. The notice will include a link to legal alternatives and will be included on the College web site.

As a technological deterrent, the College will use a firewall to monitor network traffic. If the College suspects or receives a complaint of a user redistributing copyrighted material, the user's network access will be blocked until the complaint is resolved.

The first offense will result in a written reprimand and a minimum of 24-hour loss of network access. The second offense will result in the student being placed on probation, being required to complete remediation as assigned by the Vice President of Student Services and losing network access until remediation is completed. The third offense will result in suspension from the College.

The following is the Notice to Students:

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Notice

Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may result in criminal and civil penalties as well as in disciplinary action 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 Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQ's at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.

Cleveland Community College disciplinary actions for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws

As stated in the Academic Bulletin and Student Handbook unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing is a violation of the peer-to-peer file sharing policy.

Legal Sources of Online Content

For legal alternatives to unauthorized downloading see