Information Services

West Chester University

Adel Barimani, CIO
Vice President for Information Services
Anderson Hall Room 23
West Chester University

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Copyright Infrigement

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.

WCU Acceptable Use Policy states in III.B.3.g: "Never store or attempt to download or otherwise transmit data which would constitute a violation of state or federal law or the policies of the University, the State System of Higher Education or the Commonwealth of PA."

Federal Penalties:

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. For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at, especially their FAQ's at

University Sanctions:

The Student Code of Conduct as stated in the Ram's Eye View states that sanctions can range from Disciplinary Reprimand to Probation to fines.  More information about sanctions can be found specifically in the Ram's Eye View.

What WCU Is Doing to Protect Copyright

WCU is using the following technologies to help protect materials protected by copyright:

Legal Sources of Online Content

A complete listing can be found at the EduCause site.  However, below is a subset of the list of popular locations that provide contact.  Many of them do not charge money for viewing.

Last Updated: 6/23/2010 FJP