Federal Law on Copyright and the Internet
Federal law prohibits the reproduction, distribution, public display or public performance of copyrighted materials over the Internet without permission of the copyright holder. Under no circumstances may users install, download or otherwise transmit any copyrighted material through the NLC computer systems, including through use of peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) technology.
NLC fully complies with the federal Digital Millennium Copyright of 1998 and has the measures in place for tracking alleged incidents of copyright infringement. NLC may receive a notice from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and other content owners that copyrighted material has been infringed by a user on the College’s network. Once the user is verified, the user is forwarded a copy of the notice and is ordered to cease and desist any illegal activity. If a subpoena is issued by the RIAA, by law, NLC is required to provide the identity of alleged infringers. Employees and students subject to subpoenas risk further legal action and NLC disciplinary action. Employee offenders will be referred to the General Counsel. Depending on the severity of the offense, disciplinary action can range from Internet connection termination to employment termination.
A user in violation of copyright law may face the following penalties:
- (i) Suspension from the College network for a period of time;
- (ii) Prosecution in criminal court or a civil lawsuit seeking damages. Civil liability for copyright infringement can be as high as $150,000 per instance of infringement in addition to legal fees. Criminal penalties for a first offense may be as high as three years in prison and a fine of $250,000;
- (iii) Disciplinary action taken in accordance with NLC policy and procedures.