EKU encourages all students, faculty, and staff to engage in safe and legally compliant sharing of copyrighted materials. Downloading or sharing copyrighted materials (such as music and videos) can be illegal if done without the permission of the copyright owner whether you profit from it or not.
About the Law
If you are infringing copyright, even unwittingly, you can be subject to civil damages of between $750 and $150,000 per work infringed and even criminal fines of up to $250,000 and jail time.
You are responsible for any digital copyright violations associated with your computer and network access if you give others permission to use them.
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) (U.S. Copyright Office Summary)
- Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) (U.S. Department of Education)
Copyright Compliance at EKU
EKU provides the following information in compliance with the law:
- Copyright (from EKU Libraries)
- Intellectual Property
- Don't Be a Pirate! (from Student Conduct & Community Standards)
- Free Media Library (from EKU Geeks)
- EKU IT Code of Ethics for Computing & Communication
- ResNet Acceptable Use Policy
- Obtain explicit permission from copyright owners to share files
- Have proof that you have permission to download or distribute a file
- Verity that your sources for media files actually have permission to distribute the files
- Disable the share feature or uninstall your ‘file sharing’ software – peer-to-peer (P2P) or torrents
- Read licenses of media and material you purchase
- Educate yourself regarding copyright law and topics such as copyright infringement liability, fair use, identifying copyright owners, and how to obtain permission
Hazards of Using P2P File-Sharing Software
- Your files are shared automatically. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing software (such as BitTorrent or uTorrent) not only receives files but automatically allows others to access them.
- Auto start-up. P2P programs may start up automatically when you turn on your computer, letting others access your files without your knowledge or consent. You are responsible for file sharing activities of your computer, even when you are unaware of the activity.
- Security risks. P2P technology or websites like (Megaupload) may make your computer vulnerable to malicious software or viruses.
U.S. Copyright Office
U.S. Copyright Office Summary of DMCA
American Library Association Resources
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)