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Intellectual Property & Copyright - Copyright Infringement FAQs

Below is frequently asked questions and their answers on copyright infringement.

What is copyright?

Copyright is a legal right to control the copying, distribution, modification, display, and performance of certain types of works. It applies to text, graphics, video, audio, and many other forms of expression.

What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)?

Title II of the DMCA limits the liability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from copyright infringement by their customers, provided that certain provisions are met.

How can I use copyright protected material?

You must have formal permission from the copyright holder to copy, distribute, modify, display or perform their work.

How does the university handle infringement complaints relating to the use of copyrighted material for official university business?

The objectives of NDSU are to minimize liability while also providing legal support for the activities of faculty and staff.

How does the university handle infringement complaints regarding the personal use of copyrighted materials?

The university follows official takedown and notification procedures as established by federal law.

What are NDSU's policies and procedures regarding electronic copyright infringement?

Depending on the severity and if it is a repeat offense, NDSU sanctions can include termination of network services and accounts.

How is peer-to-peer file sharing software related to copyright infringement?

Although peer-to-peer file sharing programs are not illegal, they may be used for the illegal downloading and distribution of copyrighted materials such as, but not limited to, music, movies, books, and software. Uploading or downloading copyrighted material without permission can be infringement, whether it's done by peer-to-peer software or other means.

What risks are there to using peer-to-peer file sharing software?

Using file sharing applications can expose your computer to malware that may cause irretrievable loss of data or a compromise of your accounts. Incorrect or default settings of these file sharing application may put your personal and/or confidential information in risk of being inadvertently shared across the Internet.

If the use of peer-to-peer file sharing is found to be used for illegitimate and or inappropriate reasons, or against NDSU policy, sanctions could include, but are not limited to, verbal caution; letter of warning; loss of computer and/or network access; referral to the Employee Assistance program; referral for training and education; letter of reprimand; suspension with or without pay; and termination of employment or enrollment status.

Students, faculty and staff may be criminally prosecuted and subject to civil litigation if they intentionally or unintentionally infringe copyright.

How do I report a copyright violation?

If you suspect a copyright violation, please contact the NDSU IT Security Office -

Useful Websites

United State Copyright Office:

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA):

NDSU Policy 190 Employee Responsibility and Activity: Intellectual Property: Section 190

NDSU Policy 158 Acceptable Use of Electronic Communication Devices: Section 158

NDSU Code of Student Behavior: Section 601

The TEACH Toolkit (An online resource for understanding the TEACH act): University of Texas

A Fair Use worksheet for determining if media use is legitimate and within guidelines: University of Texas

KeywordsIntellectual Property Copyright Infringement FAQ IP   Doc ID99883
OwnerJeff G.GroupIT Knowledge Base
Created2020-04-01 12:44:57Updated2021-06-07 07:24:29
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