Austin Community College (ACC) District has an expectation of respect for intellectual property and requires ACC faculty, staff and students to comply with federal law regarding the use of copyright-protected materials. Copyright infringement is defined as exercising exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner, without permission or legal authority, under Section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute copyrighted materials, or downloading/uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority.

Austin Community College complies with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) in distributing the following information according to this federal mandate:

Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject students to civil and criminal liabilities. Examples include copying movies, music using peer-to-peer file-sharing technology.

Penalties for copyright infringement may include college disciplinary action, civil and criminal liability. The law requires a civil plaintiff to seek statutory damages of $150,000 for each act of willful infringement. Criminal penalties for a first offense may be as high as three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

EDUCAUSE has compiled references sources of legal alternatives for downloading media content. View more information at EDUCAUSE: Legal Sources of Online Content.

It is a violation of copyright law to distribute a copyrighted work without the content owner’s permission, even if the work was legally purchased. Users are responsible for any violation that occurs using network devices registered to your ACCeID regardless of who downloaded it, or how it got there.

Questions about copyright may be emailed to ACC’s Copyright Officer, Courtney Mlinar, at