What will happen if I get caught?
Violation of the Copyright Law can have serious consequences:
- College Disciplinary Action: Copyright infringement can subject a student to disciplinary action under Standards VI and VII of the Standards of Conduct for Students, since violation of law or College policy is grounds for discipline. First offenses will result in a notice from Computing Services to cease illegal activity. Failure to comply or further incidents of infringement may result in referral to the the Dean's Office and loss of network access for the infringing computer. Sanctions may include suspension of network access (meaning loss of BlitzMail and course web site access) and formal college disciplinary action. These outcomes might prove harmful to your future job prospects or academic pursuits, since many employers and graduate and professional schools require you to disclose College disciplinary action.
- Civil Liability: Persons found to have infringed may be held liable for substantial damages and attorneys fees. The law entitles a plaintiff to seek statutory damages of $150,000 for each act of willful infringement. In the cases filed by the RIAA against students at Princeton, RPI, and Michigan Tech, the recording industry sued for damages of $150,000 for each recording infringed.
- Criminal Liability: Copyright infringement also carries criminal penalties under the federal No Electronic Theft Act. Depending on the number and value of the products exchanged, penalties for a first offense may be as high as three years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Dartmouth is not the police; however, Dartmouth will cooperate with the law enforcement agencies when required.