Mid-Atlantic Christian University is committed to ensuring that all staff, faculty, and students respect U.S. copyright laws and regulations.  MACU is committed to educating staff, faculty, and students about copyrights, copyright infringement and consequences, and legal use of intellectual property.  MACU is commited to fighting against illegal file sharing and providing resources for legal downloading.

Copyright Information

Title 17 of the U.S. Law Code defines copyright as a protection to the creators of “original works of authorship.”  A copyright grants the owner of legal right to reproduce, modify, distribute, publish, and perform.  Different types of copyrighted material are subject to different standards and practices; check out the Copyright Basics and Copyright FAQ on the for more information.  A copyright does not extend protection to ideas, but it can protext an idea expressed in tangible form.

Peer-to-peer (p2p), Illegal File Sharing, and Copyrights

File sharing programs are not explicitly illegal, but are often used to obtain copyrighted material.  Downloading, distributing, and uploading copyrighted material without the author’s permission is illegal and unethical; it is a violation of U.S. Law and University Policies.  Anyone who illegally downloads, distributes, or copies copyrighted material risks criminal prosecution and civil litigation.

Copyright violations can have serious civil and criminal penalties.  Potential civil and criminal penalties include:

  • Actual damages or statutory damages from $750 to $30,000 per violation/work
  • Up to $150,000 per work, prosecution fees, 0-5 years inprisoment, and up to $250,000 per offense for willful copyright infringement

Educate Yourself about Copyrights and Legal Downloading

Legal Alternatives for Downloading

Anti-piracy Information

Important Copyright Laws and Policies

More information about Copyrights


[Revised 6/27/2015]