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Copyright for Students

File Sharing policies and issues

Two laws restrict file sharing

- the Higher Education Opportunity Act which has provisions to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted work

- the U.S. Copyright Law which provides the copyright owner with the rights to distribute their work

Duke Policies?

The Duke's Copyright Law and Campus Policies statement which discusses the civil and criminal penalties for violating the laws as well as Duke's policies.

Duke's IT Security Office has a useful FAQ as well and discusses what happens when an infringement complaint is sent to their office.

 File Sharing Sites and Terms of Use?

- Read the "Terms of Use" or user agreements when signing up for an online file sharing or online document service

- Most "terms of use" forbid copyright infringement and other activities that may create civil or even criminal liability

- Some sites clearly state that you must be the copyright owner or have the legal permission of the copyright owner to post content that you do not own

 If you agree to the terms of use and then post materials that violate the copyright law, the file sharing site will NOT be held responsible.  You will be considered the violator and subject to possible legal actions.