Conversation
Feedback

We want to hear from you!

BYU-Idaho values suggestions and ideas that can improve the university.
Use our Feedback Form to let us know what you think.

Conversation
Feedback
Brigham Young University Logo

Digital Media Use

Legal Sources of Online Content

Other Sources:

Consequences of Unauthorized Downloading

 

Criminal/Civil Liability

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.

Institutional Liability

A portion of the BYU-Idaho Copyright Policy states: "Members of the BYU-Idaho community who disregard this Copyright Policy may violate the Honor Code and the terms of their employment (i.e., they may jeopardize their employment); may place themselves at risk for possible legal action; and may incur personal liability."

 

Bi-annual notice (2012) to members of the BYU-Idaho community—unauthorized downloading

All members of the BYU-Idaho community are reminded that unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may incur civil/criminal liabilities.

Penalties for those found liable for copyright infringement may be ordered to pay actual damages and "statutory" damages ranging from $750 to $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed in addition to costs and attorney's fees. Willful infringement may also result in imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense should the court impose criminal penalties.

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 on the Copyright Act located at 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 permission constitutes infringement.

Activities such as uploading or downloading unauthorized copies of text, movies, games, computer software, and music (or any other material protected by copyright) may also incur serious personal consequences such as terminating your university computer privileges or affecting your status at the university. Students and other members of the BYU-Idaho community should review the BYU-Idaho copyright policy for further information.