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Copyright Resources to Support Publishing and Teaching

A guide for faculty, staff, and students at Penn about how to obtain, manage, and understand copyright issues for their work

Additional resources

Student responsibilities for using copyrighted materials

Students are responsible for making appropriate use of copyrighted materials in all of their work.  Any student engaged in the unauthorized copying or use of copyrighted materials may also face civil suit, criminal charges, and/or penalties and fines. Subject to the facts and circumstances of each case, such individuals or departments shall be solely responsible for their defense and any resulting liability.

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.

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, at 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.

More information about Penn policies can be found at http://www.upenn.edu/computing/policy/copyright.html

Need help?

For further assistance with copyright issues, contact repository@pobox.upenn.edu.

For questions about use of materials on reserve, contact Lori Rowland or the librarian at your reserve location.

Does Penn have policies on copyright?