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Use of Mississippi College Network

All users of the Mississippi College Network (MCNet) are required to follow the University's Acceptable Use Policy which includes complying with federal copyright laws. Specifically, this policy requires that users not share copyrighted material over the University network, including web pages, peer-to-peer file sharing software, and email. This policy applies to personally owned computers as well as University owned computers, if they are accessing the University network. Please be sure that you have rights for any material you are making available or sharing on the University network.

Any sharing of copyrighted materials on the University network is a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy of Mississippi College and may lead to disciplinary proceedings and, in some cases, legal action.

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, especially their FAQ's

Approved by the Information Technology Committee, October 13, 2016