2020 Annual Copyright Disclosure to the BYU Community
All members of the BYU community are reminded that unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may incur civil and criminal liabilities.
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, located at Title 17 of the United States Code. These rights include the right to reproduce and distribute a copyrighted work, and to publicly display and perform a copyrighted work. Legally unauthorized use of a substantial part of a copyrighted work constitutes unlawful infringement.
Penalties for those found liable for copyright infringement may be ordered to pay actual damages and profits, or “statutory” damages ranging from $750 to $30,000 per work infringed, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. Willful infringement may also result in criminal liability, which is subject to penalties that may include imprisonment of up to ten years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.
In the file sharing context, uploading or downloading unauthorized copies of music, videos, games, computer software, or any other material protected by copyright is unlawful and may also incur other serious personal consequences such as terminating your university computer privileges or affecting your status at the university. Students, faculty, and other members of the BYU community should review the BYU Copyright Policy and Repeat Infringer Policy, which further describe the consequences of committing copyright infringement.
If you are unsure whether any proposed use of a copyrighted work is legally authorized, review the Knowledgebase section of the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website, or contact the BYU Copyright Licensing Office.