Copyright Infringement

Contact Information

Evan Posey, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost 
Phone: 770.484.1204
Extension: 5699

Penalties and Institutional Policies on Copyright Infringement

Institutional Policies of Copyright Infringement

Luther Rice College and Seminary expressly prohibits the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing. Copyright infringement may be subject to civil and criminal liabilities.

It is the policy of the school to inform and educate faculty, staff, and students regarding federal copyright law, the rights of copyright owners, the legal obligation of the school to comply with applicable law, and the rights of the school community to use copyrighted works.

For details regarding Luther Rice College and Seminary’s copyright policies, refer to the 2019-2020 Copyright Policy.

Institutional Liability for Infringement

The Vice President for Academic Affairs does not review faculty, staff, or student publications for possible copyright infringement.   Therefore, any copyright infringement or other legal actions resulting from faculty, staff, or student publications are solely the responsibility of the faculty member, staff member, or student.  Luther Rice College and Seminary will assume responsibility for copyright infringement complaints only where the school has a copyright claim upon the publication as defined and explained in this Policy and has not disclaimed such interest, or has otherwise expressly sponsored the publication.

Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws

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 copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either 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, in its discretion, also assess cost and attorney’s 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. For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at