Unauthorized use of copyrighted materials may bring civil and criminal penalties to the user. UMGC is committed to combating the unauthorized use of copyrighted materials on UMGC's network, and therefore, has established a written plan to achieve this goal. The intent of this plan is to inform UMGC students, faculty, and staff members of the appropriate use of copyrighted material on the network and to deter, detect, and discipline prohibited use, while reasonably maintaining the educational use of UMGC's network.
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.
UMGC implements an active protocol to respond to copyright infringement allegations. In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), UMGC has designated the following individual to receive and respond to reports of alleged copyright infringement on UMGC's website:
In order to be effective under the DMCA, a notification of claimed infringement must be in writing and include the following information:
Once an effective DMCA takedown request is submitted, UMGC will act expeditiously to remove or block access to the infringing material.