Mitchell Tech encourages students to familiarize themselves with copyright law and the Fair Use Guidelines. MTC Policy 551 provides guidelines on adhering to Fair Use Guidelines.

Mitchell Tech also has policies in place that prohibit the illegal downloading of copyrighted material. See MTC Policy 744. Furthermore, in compliance with requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, Mitchell Tech is required to inform students and staff of further civil and criminal penalties that could be applied towards individuals who engage in the practice of illegally downloading copyrighted material, as follows:

Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws - 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 the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at, especially their FAQ’s at