MSP Copyright Policy

MSP Copyright Policy

MSP is committed to respecting the rights of copyright holders and complying with United States Copyright Act of 1976 (Title 17, United States Code), Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and other related acts. Members of the MSP community are expected to adhere to the laws set forth in these acts in regards to the proper use of copyrighted materials.

Copyright Infringement

“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” (Madzelan, 2010). Copyright infringement violates the US Copyright Act and MSP policy. MSP community members may not send, receive, upload or download copyrighted materials, license agreements, and similar materials, including proprietary, confidential, trade secret, financial, or account information of MSP, except with administrative approval.

MSP community members who violate copyright law may be subject to disciplinary action through the school as well as federal civil and criminal penalties. Penalties may apply even when an individual was not aware that their actions constituted copyright infringement.

Academic Consequences

Violation of copyright law is an academic offense. Allegations of academic or non-academic misconduct will be referred to the Program Director or the Vice President as appropriate for review, investigation, and adjudication. See the current Academic Catalog for a list of sanctions for academic offenses.

Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties

“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, in 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.”[1]

[1] Madzelan, D. T. (2010, June 4). Institutional requirements for combating the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by user’s of the institution’s network (DCL ID: GEN-10-08). Retrieved from


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