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Copyright Infringement FAQs

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What is the definition of copyright?

Copyright is a legal right to control the copying, distribution, modification, display, and performance of certain types of works. It applies to text, graphics, video, audio, and many other forms of expression.

What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)?

Title II of the DMCA limits the liability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from copyright infringement by their customers, provided that certain provisions are met.

How can I use copyright protected material?  

You must have formal permission from the copyright holder to copy, distribute, modify, display or perform their work.

How does the university handle infringement complaints relating to the use of copyrighted material for official university business?

The objectives of NDSU are to minimize liability while also providing legal support for the activities of faculty and staff.

How does the university handle infringement complaints regarding the personal use of copyrighted materials?

The university follows official takedown and notification procedures as established by federal law.

What are NDSU's policies and procedures regarding electronic copyright infringement?

Depending on the severity and if it is a repeat offense, NDSU sanctions can include termination of network services and accounts.

How is peer-to-peer file sharing software related to copyright infringement?

Although peer-to-peer file sharing programs are not illegal, they may be used for the illegal downloading and distribution of copyrighted materials such as music, movies and software. Uploading or downloading copyrighted material without permission can be infringement, whether it's done by peer-to-peer software or other means.

What risks are there to using peer-to-peer file sharing software?

  • Students, faculty and staff may be criminally prosecuted and subject to civil litigation if it is used to infringe copyright.
  • If the use of peer-to-peer file sharing is found to be used for illegitimate reasons or against NDSU policy, sanctions could include, but are not limited to, verbal caution; letter of warning; loss of computer and/or network access; referral to the Employee Assistance program; referral for training and education; letter of reprimand; suspension with or without pay; and termination of employment or enrollment status.
  • Using file sharing applications exposes your computer to viruses that may cause irretrievable loss of data.
  • Your personal and/or confidential information may be inadvertently shared across the Internet.

How do I report a copyright violation?

If you suspect a copyright violation, please contact the NDSU IT Security Officer at 231-5870 or e-mail abuse@ndsu.edu.


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North Dakota State University
IT Help Desk Phone: +1 (701) 231-8685
Administrative Calls Only: +1 (701) 231-7961 / Fax: (701) 231-8541
Campus address: Quentin Burdick Building 206
Physical/delivery address: 1320 Albrecht Blvd, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 4510 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Information Technology Services

Last Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2014 11:11:04 AM