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: Library
: President
: 09/25/2017
: 09/25/2017
: 10/01/2019

Copyright Infringement and File Sharing Policy

Comment on Policy


This policy applies to anyone using Thomas More University’s network, resources, or facilities, including employees, students, service providers, guests of the University, and external individuals. 




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 reproduction, distribution, performance, display and transmission of a copyrighted work. The original creator/producer of the work is the copyright owner. Merely possessing the material (such as owning a book) does not give someone the ownership of the copyright.  Types of work covered by copyright law include, but are not limited to, literary works, visual arts, performing arts, sound recordings, motion picture/audiovisual, digital works, and software.  Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials also includes the sharing of copyrighted music, movies, and software through peer-to-peer applications. 

Any activity that violates these protections is in violation of United State law and is not an acceptable use of the Thomas More University network or resources. 

In order to protect the University from liability if an individual violates the law, the University will remove any infringing material as soon as the University is informed of the violation. 

Copyright violations related to the Academic Honesty Policy will be subject to the procedures and sanctions contained therein.  All other copyright violations traced to students will be referred to the Dean of Students for implementation of the judicial process. 

Copyright violations traced to faculty will be referred to the Office of Academic Affairs.  Copyright violations traced to staff will be referred to the Human Resources Department.  Copyright violations by employees are treated as a breach of ethical and professional conduct and will be handled following established disciplinary procedures.

In addition, violations of copyright law can lead to criminal charges and civil penalties. Under current copyright law, criminal cases of copyright violation carry a penalty of up to five (5) years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Civil penalties for copyright infringement include a minimum fine of $750 and maximum of $150,000 for each work.


Title 17 of the United States Code
Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
Higher Education Opportunity Act and Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) section 485


All employees will be notified of the policy.  Plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material are developed in compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act and Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) section 487.


Faculty Policy Manual
Employee Manual
Saints Community Standards (linked from Academics section, Library, Computer Center)



Supersedes Policy

Summarize Change

October 10, 2018

Copyright Infringement and File Sharing

Update to University (not a material change)

September 25, 2017

Copyright Infringement and File Sharing

Formalize policy

March 27, 2017

Copyright Infringement and File Sharing

Update policy for compliance

April 2010

Copyright Infringement and File Sharing

Original policy




Signatures on file:

Kathleen Jagger, Vice President for Academic Affairs

David A. Armstrong, President