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Copyright Infringement

Downloading or sharing copyrighted materials (music, videos, images, literature, and software) without the copyright holder’s permission constitutes copyright infringement and is prohibited by La Salle University’s Acceptable Use Policy. The use of unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing on the University’s network to download or distribute copyrighted materials can result in civil and criminal penalties in addition to University disciplinary action.

What can happen?

Copyright infringement is a serious crime. Civil penalties may include paying actual or statutory damages. This can mean fines ranging anywhere from $750 to $30,000. Intentional copyright infringement can result in larger fines up to $150,000. In addition, deliberately sharing copyrighted materials can result in criminal charges, including up to five years of imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 per offense.

At La Salle University, users who engage in illegally downloading or sharing files can face

  • restricted or loss of access to the University’s network,
  • judicial Board review and possible disciplinary actions, and
  • criminal prosecution.

How does La Salle track this kind of activity?

The Information Technology department here at La Salle uses a number of technology-based measures to deter unauthorized file sharing. In addition, organizations such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) use aggressive strategies to curtail illegal file sharing. These strategies include sending “Intent to Subpoena” letters to the University. These letters result in Judicial Board notification as well as restricted network access.

How can I download content legally?

Head over to EDUCAUSE’s Legal Sources of Online Content site. It offers a long list of legitimate online services that provide links for accessing multimedia content. You can also visit Why Music Matters to find digital music and learn about the variety of digital options available to you. If you’re interested in finding movies and TV shows, you can head over to the Motion Picture Association of America’s Get Movies and TV Shows page.

Where can I learn more?

Check out these resources to learn more about copyright.
Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)
Respect Copyrights
What is Online Piracy?