Copyright Infringement

Copyright Infringement Word CloudUse of College technology (such as computers and internet access) must adhere to the College's Acceptable Use Policy. This policy states: "Users must adhere strictly to all applicable software licensing agreements and copyright laws."  In the event of a subpoena or warrant from law enforcement, the College is obligated to provide any information relating to the person committing copyright infringement.


What is Copyright Infringement?

Copyright Infringement is the violation of the rights of a copyright.  This encompasses illegal downloading or distribution of copyrighted music, movies, videos, and software.  If you download music, movies, of videos and do not have permission from the owner, then you are committing a crime.  If you download content from a legitimate sources, you have the right to use that content however you do not have the right to distribute that content to others.



College enforcement:

Legal obligations: COCC has legal obligations to deter students and community members from violating copyrights, and in some cases, (such as when issued a subpoena,) may be required to provide the offender's information to authorities.  

Disciplinary action:  Upon receiving notice from our internet service provider, the College will track down and notify the person who is charged with copyright infringement and deny access to the illegal copies of the copyrighted content.  The issue will then be turned over to Student Services for review. In addition to disciplinary action, repeat offenders may lose their College technology privileges.


Intellectual Property Law

HEOA (Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008)

HEOA (NASFAA GEN-10-08), as of August 2008, requires institutions to take steps to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials through illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property.

DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act)

DMCA ( was signed into law Oct. 1998.  This Act imposes both criminal offense and financial penalties of up to $500,000 or up to 5 years of imprisonment for a first offense, and up to $1,000,000 fine or up to 10 years of imprisonment for subsequent offenses.  Additionally, "any person injured by violation (. . .) may bring a civil action in Federal court."

US Copyright Law

Copyright Law of the United States ( imposes 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.

Fair Use

Copyright law ( defines Fair Use: "the fair use of a copyrighted work…for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."

Pirating movies, music, and software for personal use does not constitute Fair Use and is considered a crime.


Legal Alternatives to Piracy

Local Library

You can check out music, books, and movies from our College's library, or the county library.  Talk to a librarian for more information.

Deschutes County Library:
COCC's Library:

Streaming Media

Many of the intellectual property complaints our College receives are from companies with online streaming services.  It is much cheaper to pay for a monthly service than a lawyer.  

Google Play: