Copyright Policy

Original "works of expression," such as writings, graphics, photographs, and music, may be protected from unauthorized use by the federal copyright laws. Copyright laws govern whether — and to what extent — one is permitted to copy, upload, download, transmit, or distribute such works, or to create new works derived from them without first receiving permission from the holder of the copyright (often the author or publisher of the original). The copyright laws are complex. Under some circumstances, copying information from websites, downloading music or video from or uploading it to a peer-to-peer application, or even mere photocopying, faxing, or cutting and pasting substantial portions of copyrighted materials may constitute infringement. The Berkeley College community is expressly prohibited from using the Berkeley College network or computing resources to access peer-to-peer sites that permit unauthorized copying of copyrighted music, photographs, video, or other legally protected materials. Such activities will be treated as violations of the Student Electronic Information Policy. Certain limited copying of published materials without permission may be allowed under the "Fair Use" doctrine.

Berkeley students and associates are required to comply with the copyright laws. Failure to do so may be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, and may subject the infringer to significant legal consequences. Penalties for copyright infringement may 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. For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at

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