Combating Copyright Infringement

Franklin University’s Plan to Effectively Combat Copyright Infringement

With respect and commitment to adhering to the U.S. Copyright Act: Fair Use Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 107, the Franklin University community is asked to comply with all University policies, namely those outlined in the Employee Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Community Standards and the Copyright & Fair Use Policy.

Copyright & Fair Use Resource Guide

The purpose of this resource guide is to provide guidance and referrals to copyright information, services, and policies. They are:

  • Copyright Research Guide - comprehensive copyright and fair use resource, including information from copyright basics to a fair use evaluator,  providing guidance to students, staff and faculty;
  • Copyright for Students - provides pertinent information for Franklin students in regards to copyright protection;
  • Copyright for Faculty and Staff - provides materials related to copyright and fair use and links to the copyright permission service;
  • Copyright Permission Service (for Faculty and Staff) - the Franklin University Nationwide Library will work to identify the copyright holder and seek terms and conditions for using the material of interest;
  • Franklin University Community Standards - Franklin University’s Community Standards/Student Code of Conduct are designed to promote the educational mission of the University and to encourage honesty and integrity, respect for others, and respect for the campus community.  Students are to become familiar with student conduct regulations and the Student Code of Conduct;
  • Academic Bulletin - the Franklin University Academic Bulletin is published annually and provides information related to academic programs, policies and procedures;
  • and the Acceptable Use Policy - Franklin University promotes the use of electronic communication, telecommunication and computing resources for the purposes of University instruction, advancement, administration, research and study. All users are required to respect applicable copyright, privacy and licensing regulations. It is the responsibility of all users to uphold the integrity and validity of information contained in the University databases and communications.

For questions on Copyright at Franklin University, contact

Technology-Based Copyright Infringement Deterrents

Franklin University actively blocks Peer-to-peer file sharing between the Internet and the campus network using features in its web filter content. Further, the University detects and blocks Peer-to-peer communications using sensors on its network.

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 visit the U.S. Copyright Office.

Other Copyright Infringement Deterrents

Franklin University requires all new undergraduate students to attend a Professional Foundations course (PF321) and all graduate students to attend an Effectively Communicating and Collaborating course (GRAD 703) upon enrollment. These courses cover a student’s responsibility to honor the copyrights associated with material they acquire and use.

Students who have been found in violation of copyrights by University faculty or staff have their cases reviewed in an expeditious manner in accordance with Franklin University’s Procedures for Student Misconduct Complaints (see the Student Code of Conduct).

Notices filed under the Digital Millennium Act (DMCA) are processed in the same manner as copyright violations reported by University personnel.

Plan Review

University handbooks, standards and policies are reviewed and updated in an ongoing manner according to their scheduled evaluation timeline. 

On an annual basis, during the time Franklin University undergoes an independent financial audit of its IT information controls, the Information Security Officer will meet with the Vice President for Institutional Compliance to review the effectiveness of the copyright protection plan. The number of reported copyright violations, the changes in technology for sharing content, and the general awareness of the campus community are considered. If the number of incidents suggests that the current measures are losing their effectiveness, modifications to the plan will be pursued and implemented.

Designated Agent

Franklin University respects copyright, and reminds the Franklin University Community that they are responsible for complying with the applicable copyright law. Any copyright holder claiming a copyright infringement has occurred should contact our designated agent.

Franklin University’s designated agent for notices of copyright infringement is: 

Alyssa Darden
Franklin University 
201 S. Grant Ave.
Columbus, OH  43215