Copyright Infringement Policies and Sanctions

Bacone College takes the protection of intellectual property seriously, whether it that of a student, of a faculty member, or of a source outside the Bacone College Community.  All concerns related to the violation of copyright and trademark law are referred to administration.  Students are exposed to concepts that tie in to plagiarism throughout their academic career and are offered additional workshops and other opportunities outside the classroom to improve their understanding of this important legal principle.

Brief Definitions:

Copyright infringement (also piracy) is the use of any work protected by copyright law without permission where such permission is required.

Plagiarism is the copying another person’s ideas and misrepresentation of those ideas as one’s own work.  Plagiarism can lead to expulsion from an institution of higher education and cause permanent damage to a student’s professional reputation.  Even cases of accidental plagiarism are investigated by schools and can lead to serious consequences.

Examples of Appropriate Uses of Copyrighted Works:

  1. Appropriate Classroom Uses of Copyrighted Works
    1. Distribute multiple copies of excerpts of copyrighted works that meet the fair use standards (include copyright notice).
    2. Show Videos or DVDs in class for instructional purposes (if university or professor owns a legal copy)
    3. Listen to CDs or records in class for instructional purposes (if university or professor owns a legal copy)
    4. Include a small number of images (no more than 5 from one author) in a multimedia presentation
    5. Live music performances in class
    6. Performance of a dramatic work (not to the public and not for profit)
  2. Appropriate Out of Classroom Uses of Copyrighted Works In the Library:
    1. Make copies of articles, book chapters, essays, short stories, etc. for class preparation or research.
    2. Place photocopies of excerpts of copyrighted works that meet the fair use standards on reserve (include copyright notice).
    3. Place originals of books, CDs, DVDs, or other materials on reserve.
    4. Place electronic copies of articles and electronic books from library databases on reserve.
  3. Appropriate Online Uses of Copyrighted Works as part of a student’s coursework:
    1. Post instructor authored materials (syllabus, notes, etc.)
    2. Post copies of material from the public domain
    3. Post or link to materials according to a Creative Commons license.
    4. Link to articles from library databases (ask a librarian for help if needed)
    5. Link to freely available web sites
    6. Post material appropriate for classroom use on restricted web site, with certain restrictions:
      1. Only available to students in the course and necessary administrators (use passwords)
      2. Posted excerpts of motion pictures or other audiovisual materials are not longer than a traditional class session, are integrated into course content and supervised by the instructor
      3. Efforts must be made to prevent students from downloading, printing, or saving copyrighted materials.
      4. Items designed and licensed for distance education must follow author/publisher licensing guidelines

Examples of Inappropriate Uses of Copyrighted Works.

  1. Posting copyrighted materials on the open web without permission.
  2. Copying from consumable materials, e.g., workbooks, test booklets, etc.
  3. Copying and distributing or placing on reserve the same excerpts for more than one semester without copyright permission.
  4. Copying large portions of materials, especially to avoid purchasing a copy.
  5. Copying music for use in performance.

Copyright Violations

  1. 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, distribute, adapt, or publicly perform or display a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Academic consequences for willfully violating copyright laws include, but are not limited to:
    1. Recording the grade for the assignment or test as a zero (0)
    2. Requiring an alternate assignment or test to be completed
    3. Removing the student from the course
    4. Removing the student from the College
  5. For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at, and also at

Creative Commons.

If it becomes difficult for a student to complete an assignment while respecting the copyrights on a source, one alternative is to look for an alternate source with a Creative Commons license.

Many authors are now choosing another option between copyright’s “all rights reserved” and the complete freedom of public domain use. This option allows authors and creators to decide which rights they wish to reserve, but is more generous about use than traditional copyright. See

Citation Help 

The current guides hosted at the Purdue Online Writing Lab may be a valuable supplement to the materials provided by your professor.


  1.  “Plagiarism”. The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  2.  “What Are Some Consequences Of Plagiarism?”. The Law Dictionary. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  3.  3.0 3.1 3.2 “6 Consequences of Plagiarism”. iThenticate. Turnitin, LLC. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  4.  4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 “The Common Types of Plagiarism”. Bowdoin College Brunswick, Maine. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  5.  “What is Plagiarism?”. iParadigms, LLC. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  6.  Stolley, Karl; Brizee, Allen; Paiz, Joshua (7 June November 2006). “Avoiding plagiarism”. Purdue OWL. Retrieved 6 January 2014.Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7.  7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 “Copyright Laws – Intellectual Property Laws – Plagiarism Laws”. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  8.  8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 “How to Avoid Plagiarism”. Harvard Guide to Using Sources. President and Fellows of Harvard College. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  9.  “Guidelines for Proper Attribution”. Office of the Provost. Northwestern University. Retrieved 4 October 2016.