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). Infringement may occur when a copyright protected work is reproduced or distributed without authorization, including when it is uploaded or downloaded from the Internet or otherwise published without permission. Protected works may include (among other works) photographic images; recordings (including class recordings); class materials, including, for example lectures and slides, assessment materials and examinations, and course readings; music; movies; and television programs. Although there are limited exceptions not requiring permission, such as the doctrine of fair use, sharing substantial portions of such works, including on peer-to-peer networks, without authorization by the rights owner or by meeting the exception requirements is an infringement.
Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. Copyright compliance enforcement agencies aggressively pursue infringers. If you are infringing, even unknowingly, you can be subject to civil damages per work infringed, and even criminal fines and jail time.
All universities in the University of Illinois System make every effort to comply with laws and institutional policies on copyright. Individuals who receive a copyright infringement notice may face disciplinary or employment actions. These actions may include, but are not limited to, loss of network access, mandatory training about copyright infringement, conduct sanctions, and potential dismissal from the University.
For more information about copyright at the University of Illinois, please visit: http://copyright.illinois.edu/compliance/.