Georgia Highlands College

Copyright Information and Policies

Georgia Highlands College makes every effort to comply with all applicable copyright laws and to combat the unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted materials by all members of our college community.  It is imperative that students, faculty, and staff understand that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities.  Further information regarding copyright and peer-to-peer file sharing may be found in the College's Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy and at the University System of Georgia's Policy on the Use of Copyrighted Works in Education and Research.

In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), the College offers the following information:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at, especially their FAQ's at
  • Georgia Highlands College provides students with alternatives to illegal file sharing.  These alternatives include, but are not limited to:
The above information is distributed to all members of the college community on an annual basis.

Additional information on copyright may be found at the following locations:

© 2018 Georgia Highlands College