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Unauthorized Distribution of Copyright Material Annual Notice

Annual Notice

The following notice is provided in order for SMSU to comply with Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) (Pub. L. 110-315) which added provisions to the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Specifically, the Act requires higher education institutions to take steps to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials through illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property.

Copyright Infringement Policies and Sanction Notice

Downloading or distributing copyrighted material, including through peer-to-peer file sharing, without the permission of the copyright owner is against the law. Illegal downloading or distribution of copyrighted materials can result in you being prosecuted in criminal court and/or sued for damages in civil court. Criminal penalties for first-time offenders can be as high as five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. If sued in civil court, you may be responsible for monetary damages, attorney's fees and civil penalties up to $150,000 per work distributed. Use of Southwest Minnesota State University resources for unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials is forbidden.

Southwest Minnesota State University prohibits illegal copyright infringement through its acceptable use policy (Minnesota State Board Policy 5.22.1) and in its student conduct code (Section 6b). Disciplinary action for all campus network users, including loss of use of SMSU information technology systems and potential student expulsion from Southwest Minnesota State University could result from violations of this policy.

More information regarding Southwest Minnesota State University's efforts to combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted information including its Written Plan and information regarding legal alternatives to illegal file sharing is available at the following locations: Written Plan  -  Alternatives

Last Modified: 8/15/22 4:38 PM | Website Feedback