It is illegal to download and/or share copyrighted material without permission of the owner.
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.
University sanctions are conducted through the Office of Judicial Affairs. The Summary of Student Discipline Procedures and CSU Executive Order 1043, Article V, lists the procedures and potential sanctions that a student may face for violation of University copyright policy.
Peer-to-Peer File Sharing
It is illegal to download and/or share copyrighted material without permission
of the owner. This may include, but is not limited to, mp3's, video, and
picture files. If a complaint is recieved due to copyright violation, your
network access may be shut off and disciplinary actions may be taken. Please
visit the University
of Chicago's website on Disabling Peer to Peer File Sharing for instructions
on how to keep people from downloading files from your computer using common
Peer to Peer applications. If you need assitance with this, please contact the IT Help Desk.