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Allegany College of Maryland Copyright and P2P File Sharing Notice

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) includes provisions to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. HEOA provisions require Allegany College of Maryland to:
  • Provide an annual disclosure to students describing copyright law and campus policies related to violating copyright law.
  • Maintain a plan to "effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials" by users of its network, including "the use of one or more technology-based deterrents".
  • Offer alternatives to illegal downloading.

Annual Disclosure

Allegany College of Maryland informs students about copyright infringement by:

  • Publishing the college Technology Resource Policy, Code of Student Conduct, and Student Discipline Policy in the Student Handbook.
  • Publishing the Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws.

Effective Combat Plan

Allegany College of Maryland maintains a plan to combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials through the use of technology-based deterrents.  These deterrents include active monitoring of network traffic for excessive bandwidth use and a vigorous program of accepting and responding to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices.


Periodic Review

Allegany College of Maryland periodically reviews its plan to evaluate its effectiveness in combating the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials by users of the college network.


Legal Alternatives and Additional Information

Allegany College of Maryland endorses the list of known legitimate download sources as published on the EDUCAUSE website (http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent).

Additional information regarding Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) provisions to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing can be obtained on the EDUCAUSE website (http://www.educause.edu/Resources/Browse/HEOA/34600).


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.