Penalties -Computing Services ISO - Carnegie Mellon University

Penalties and Legal Actions

A user in violation of copyright law may face the following penalties:

  1. Suspension from the university network as described under The University Processing of a DMCA Notice.
  1. Prosecution in criminal court or a civil lawsuit seeking damages. Civil liability for copyright infringement can be as high as $150,000 per instance of infringement in addition to legal fees.  Criminal penalties for a first offense may be as high as three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
  1. Disciplinary action taken by the Student Life Office. For students, a second copyright violation will result in wired and wireless network access suspension for a minimum of 15 days, and will require the alleged infringer to meet with a Student Life representative and complete an educational sanction.  Network access will only be restored when Student Life notifies the ISO on behalf of the student that the issue is resolved.

Successful Legal Actions Against Individuals

"John Doe" lawsuits - In January 21, 2004 the RIAA sued 532 people for large-scale copyright infringement.

Focusing on University Students - September 30, 2004, the RIAA Brings Lawsuits Against 762 Illegal File Sharers.

On June 18, 2009, a federal jury held an individual liable for $1.92 million ($80,000 per song) for copyright infringement of 24 songs using the Kazaa peer-to-peer network.

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