Unauthorized downloading, copying and/or sharing of copyrighted material including, but not limited to, digitization and distribution of photographs from magazines, books or other copyrighted sources, copyrighted music and films, and the installation of any copyrighted software for which Cleveland State University or the end user does not have an active license or permission is strictly prohibited. Users caught in this illegal activity may be subjected to civil (up to $150,000 if willful) and criminal (up to 5 years if willful) penalties. This is considered to be a violation of CSU's General Policy for University Information and Technology Resources and Student Code of Conduct, which may subject them to administrative sanctions, including suspension from the University.
The university is required by law to enforce the following acts and address illegal use of copyrighted materials.
- The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a federal law that is designed to protect copyright holders from online theft. This act covers materials such as music, movies, publications, etc.
- The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) includes provisions designed to reduce the illegal file sharing of copyrighted materials through university networks.
DMCA violations may carry hefty civil and criminal penalties which may include damages and legal fees. The minimum fine is $750 per downloaded file and fines can be up to $250,000 and time in prison. IS&T strongly encourages users to remove any illegally obtained digital materials for their computer and refrain from downloading or sharing illegal digital materials.
Educause provides a list of legal sources of online content at this link: http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent.