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Mahoney Library, 1st Floor
Morristown, NJ 07960-6989

Phone: (973) 290-4015

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M-F: 8:30am-5pm


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Annual Disclosure

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In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Saint Elizabeth University states that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, violates the Copyright Law of the United States and may subject students to 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 (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.

Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

Chapter 5 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code) covers infringement of copyright and remedies of copyright holders with respect to allegations of copyright infringement. Remedies are the various actions that copyright owners can take against alleged offenders and include:

  • Injunction - the copyright owner can ask the court to stop the alleged infringer from using the material
  • Impounding - the copyright owner may impound the materials and/or computer of the alleged infringer for discovery purposes and the court could ultimately rule that the materials be destroyed
  • Penalties - if the court rules there was infringement, the court may rule that the copyright owner may be entitled to actual damages in the form of money and a sum for any profits made by the infringer. As an alternative to actual damages a court may award statutory damages of not less than $750 or more than $30,000 per work infringed. For willful infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. Willful infringement may also result in criminal penalties.
  • Attorney's fees - the alleged infringer may be required by the court to pay the costs and the attorney fees of the copyright owner.

In addition to being a violation of the Copyright Law, this also violates SEU's Acceptable Use Policy as well as, in certain instances, SEU's Academic Integrity Policy. See the text of the Acceptable Use Policy and the section on Recommended Sanctions in the Academic Integrity Policy for more details on how copyright violations are to be handled institutionally.