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Wilmington College Copyright Infringement and File Sharing Policy

AUDIENCE:  These policies apply to anyone using Wilmington College’s network, resources, or facilities, including employees, students, service providers, guests of the College, and external individuals.

THE POLICY:  Copyright is a form of legal protection provided by United States law (Title 17 U.S. Code) that protects an owner's right to control the reproduction, distribution, performance, display and transmission of a copyrighted work. The original creator/producer of the work is the copyright owner. Merely possessing the material (such as owning a book) does not give someone the ownership of the copyright.  Types of work covered by copyright law include, but are not limited to, literary works, visual arts, performing arts, sound recordings, motion picture/audiovisual, digital works, and software.  Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials also includes the sharing of copyrighted music, movies, and software through peer-to-peer applications.

Any activity that violates these protections is in violation of United State law and is not an acceptable use of the Wilmington College network or resources. 

In order to protect the College from liability if an individual violates the law, the College will remove any infringing material as soon as the College is informed of the violation.

Copyright violations related to the Academic Honesty Policy will be subject to the procedures and sanctions contained therein.  All other copyright violations traced to students will be referred to the Dean of Students for implementation of the judicial process.

Copyright violations traced to faculty will be referred to the Office of Academic Affairs.  Copyright violations traced to staff will be referred to the Human Resources Department.  Copyright violations by employees are treated as a breach of ethical and professional conduct and will be handled following established disciplinary procedures.

In addition, violations of copyright law can lead to criminal charges and civil penalties. Under current copyright law, criminal cases of copyright violation carry a penalty of up to five (5) years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Civil penalties for copyright infringement include a minimum fine of $750 and maximum of $150,000 for each work.


Title 17 of the United States Code
Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
Higher Education Opportunity Act and Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) section 485

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