Copyright Infringement and Filesharing

See Also: Policy 4811 - Copyright Infringement

Truckee Meadows Community College respects the copyright protections given by federal law to owners of digital materials and software, and abides by all license and contractual agreements in the use of resources and services. Members of the College community are advised to become as knowledgeable as possible regarding copyright law.

The TMCC network is not to be used to illegally download music, movies, computer programs or any other copyrighted work. Legislation is in effect that forces colleges and universities to implement controls against illegal file sharing or risk losing federal financial aid funding for students.

Even though TMCC takes steps to discourage illegal downloading, students are still liable for their online activities and need to make sure that they do not break the law while online. When it comes to illegal downloading, "If you are downloading something for free that you would normally pay for, stop to consider whether it is illegal."

Copyright symbol graph

What is a Copyright?

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 use of, whether by reproduction, distribution, performance, display or transmission of a copyrighted work.

Any activity that violates these protections, such as downloading and/or sharing copyrighted works without the owner's explicit permission, is in violation of United States law and is not an acceptable use of the TMCC network.

Copyrights protect "original works of authorship", including:

  • Books, articles and other writings
  • Songs and other musical works
  • Movies and television productions
  • Pictures, graphics and drawings
  • Computer software

Breaking Copyright Law

If it comes to the attention of the College that an individual is using TMCC computer equipment and/or network access to violate copyright law, TMCC will take action to stop such activities, including removing network access. In addition, violations of copyright law can lead to criminal charges and civil penalties.