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Music, programs, books, or other intellectual works that a person buys from a store or company usually are protected by a copyright. What this means is that the work a person bought is meant for personal use only and that the buyer cannot copy it, hand it out, or make a profit from it. This is how writers, artist, and musicians protect their work and the profit that work will generate.

What a copyright law controls or states is that the author is the owner of the work and controls how it can be used. This includes the reproduction, distribution, and public display of a work. In recent years with the development of the computer and an increase in the number of people who own them, there has also been an increase in the violation of copyrights with such things as movies, music, and computer software.

In an effort to catch up with the times, former President Clinton signed into law the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This act addresses issues that computers have brought up in the violation of copyright material. This act also limits the liability of Internet Service Providers from the actions of its users who may be using their equipment to distribute copyrighted material. This means that if a record company or some other company wants to sue for a violation of copyright they will sue the user violating it and not the ISP.

At Marist it is described in Information Security Policy and the the Technology Acceptable Use Agreement that Marist does not allow the use of the college equipment to violate copyright. The term equipment covers network equipment, computers owned by the college, and any other equipment purchased or run by the college. Violation of copyright could result in the suspension or removal from the Marist Network, being forbidden to use Marist equipment, or more serious actions depending on the situation. Besides being punished from Marist the person and their family can find themselves in legal trouble. Because Marist is classified as an Online Service Provider; the Digital Millennium Act protects the college from legal actions. However, if a student or faculty are caught in violation of copyright they will be the ones targeted by the record or movie companies and the distributors, not the college. To see examples of different ways of breaking copyrights click here.

Marist will impose a progressively increasing penalty for willful violations of copyright. See here .

To see potential legal penalties that could be imposed by the courts or the copyright holder, click here.

Resources with legal online content can be found on the Legal Sources of Online Content page.

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