File Sharing Policy

All members of the University of Chicago community are required to follow the University’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). The AUP, among other things, requires that you not illegally share copyrighted material over the University network, including through the use of email, web pages, and peer-to-peer file sharing software. This applies to University-owned computers as well as personally-owned computers if they are accessing the University network. Please be sure that you have rights for any material you are making available or sharing on the University network.

The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject you to disciplinary action as well as civil and criminal liabilities. A detailed description of the University’s policies concerning disciplinary actions for the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material is set forth in the University’s Student Manual.

A summary of the civil and criminal penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws is as follows:

  • Infringer pays the actual dollar amount of damages and profits; or
  • The law provides a range from $750 to $30,000 for each work infringed, unless the court finds that the infringement was willful. In such cases, the maximum penalty is increased to $150,000.
  • The court may award attorneys’ fees and court costs.
  • The court can issue an injunction to stop the infringing acts.
  • The court can impound the illegal works.
  • The infringer can be sent to jail for up to 10 years.

Read the full text of Chapter 5 of the Copyright Law of the United States of America, “Copyright Infringement and Penalties”.

More information on copyright can be found at the University of Chicago Copyright Information Center.


Category: Eligibility and Acceptable Use
Policy Owner: rthielen