Great Lakes Boat Building School

Copyright Infringement & Peer-To-Peer Network Sharing Policy

Great Lakes Boat Building School recognizes the need for compliance with U.S. copyright laws, including the provisions of fair use, while conducting business as a nonprofit educational institution.  Compliance extends to printed, recorded, and digital information, including Internet resources.  All GLBBS employees and students are expected to comply with US copyright laws.

What is copyright?

Copyright is legal protection of intellectual property provided by the laws of the United States. Copyright applies to works in all media, not just print, and it covers all forms of a work, including its digital transmission and subsequent use.

For more detailed information concerning U.S. copyright law, users may consult the following websites:

  1. U.S. Copyright Office
  2. Further information and assistance for obtaining permission to reproduce copyrighted material, is available at the Copyright Clearance Center.

Excerpts or Photocopies Included in an Original Work of Authorship

  • Inclusions in an original work of authorship should be kept to less than 500 words or 5% of the quoted work, whichever is less. (This limit applies to the sum of the quotes from a single work.) For anything longer, the College encourages the author to seek permission.
  • All excerpts, quotations, photocopy inclusions, etc. Should have the source clearly identified.
  • Charts, graphs, etc. will be judged on a case by case basis considering the purpose and character of the use and the nature of the original work. In general, including one chart from each work or periodical would be acceptable.
  • Excerpts with copyright permission are welcome. A copy of the written permission from the copyright holder must be placed on file with the College.
  • Cartoon strips are protected under the copyright law.

Getting Permission

  • Contact the copyright holder for permission.
  • If a written request is necessary, fax it if possible. Most publishers will allow faxed requests for copy permission. This will expedite the request.
  • Be sure the copyright holder sends written permission. Verbal agreements are not sufficient.
  • Please be aware that some works have multiple copyright holders. If this is the case, you must obtain permission from all parties.


  • The Library will not make copies of works in its holdings in order to place multiple copies on its reserve shelf. Single originals or copies through inter-library loan may be put on reserve.
  • The Library will not put on reserve copies made by another party without the permission of the copyright holder.

Requiring students to make copies

  • A student cannot be required to make copies by a faculty member. Conducting a class as if the students have all made copies of “suggested” materials violates the spirit of this policy.
  • Making a copy of copyrighted performance material is an infringement.

Public Domain

  • Some older works are no longer under copyright protection. Also, some current works have not claimed copyright protection. Remember, you must still give proper credit to the source.
  • Please be aware, however, that older works may have been revised and updated. The publisher and/or editor will usually claim copyright protection in the revised work. The changes included in the revised works are protected by copyright.

Why is illegal file-sharing an issue?

GLBBS strongly supports copyright law and other protections for intellectual property rights. We are actively promoting awareness about copyright. Any sharing or distribution of copyrighted material on the college network or equipment is a breach of the Acceptable Use Policy and can lead to disciplinary proceedings and legal action. One of the policies of the Higher Education Act requires institutions to develop plans for giving students legal ways to download music and movies and to explore technologies to stop illegal peer-to-peer file sharing.

What is Peer-to-Peer (P2P)?

Peer-to-Peer file sharing is a technology that allows computer users to download files from each other using the Internet. In a peer-to-peer relationship, each computer acts simultaneously as a client and server. P2P users store files on their computers and the P2P application enables other users to download those files onto their computers. Examples of P2P applications include BiTorrent, KaZza, Limewire, and BearShare. See also Wikipedia article on Peer-to-peer.  What are the dangers of using P2P?

Copyright infringement – P2P technology makes it possible to illegally share files that are copyrighted. Federal law prohibits the reproduction, distribution, public display or public performance of copyrighted materials over the Internet without permission of the copyright holder. Great Lakes Boat Building School complies with the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 and has the measures in place for tracking alleged incidents of copyright infringement.

Malicious software – P2P is also used by attackers to transmit malicious code such as spyware, malware, or viruses into the files.

Identity theft – Exposure of personal information is also possible when using P2P. P2P users may leave themselves wide open to identify theft by misconfiguring their computer settings.

Penalties – 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. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorney’s 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 website of the U.S. Copyright Office, especially their FAQs.

FAQ: Copyright law and the illegal use of file-sharing programs

Q: What is digital copyright?
A: Copyright is legal protection of intellectual property provided by the laws of the United States. Copyright applies to works in all media, not just print, and it covers all forms of a work, including its digital transmission and subsequent use. One of the most common forms of copyright violation involves downloading or sharing songs and movies from the Internet without the express consent of the copyright owner.

Q: What is the law concerning digital copyright?
A: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) obligates the College to block access to infringing material when a copyright violation is reported. Members of the community who engage in illegal file-sharing are subject to civil penalties from copyright owners as well as disciplinary action from the College.

Q: Is sharing and downloading music files and videos illegal?
A: File-sharing is illegal when it involves copying or distributing copyrighted materials, usually music and movies, but also TV programs, text, games, software, and images, without permission from the copyright owner.

Q: What kinds of activities violate the federal law?
A: Here are some examples of copyright infringement that may be found on a network:

  • You make an MP3 copy of a song because the CD or audio file you bought expressly permits you to do so. But then you offer your copy online using a file-sharing program so others can download it.
  • You join a file-sharing network and download unauthorized copies of copyrighted music from the computers of other network members.
  • You make a movie or large segment of a movie available on a Web site without permission of the copyright owner.

Q: How is copyright infringement detected?
A: The representatives of copyright owners, such as the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), regularly scan the Internet for file-sharing programs (for example, BitTorrent, Gnutella, and Ares) that exchange music, films, or software belonging to the copyright owners they represent. If copyright infringement is detected, they send a violation notice to the owner of the network where the unlawful file-sharing has occurred. The violation notice contains information that can be used to identify the network location of the offending computer.

Q: What happens if the violation notice leads to your computer?
A: When GLBBS receives a violation notice, the President notifies the network user that they must remove or disable access to the infringing material on their computer; otherwise, their network connection will be turned off. Upon a second notification to a student, network access for their personal computer will be suspended, and the matter will be referred to the Executive Board for appropriate disciplinary action. Upon a second notification to faculty or staff, the Executive Board or the College’s General Counsel (respectively) will determine the action to be taken. GLBBS will terminate network access for anyone who repeatedly infringes on the rights of copyright holders.

Q:  How do I ensure I’m in compliance with the law?
A:  Don’t install P2P applications on your computer. If you download or distribute copyrighted material, even unknowingly, you may be faced with campus disciplinary or legal action. Secure your wireless router. You can be held responsible for any illegal activity, even unknowingly, that occurs on your unsecured router.

Q:  What are the consequences if I get caught?
A:  Great Lakes Boat Building School receives notices from RIAA, DMCA and other content owners that copyrighted material has been infringed by a user on the college network. Once the user is verified, the user is forwarded a copy of the notice and is ordered to cease and desist any illegal activity. If a subpoena is issued by the RIAA, by law, GLBBS is required to provide the identity of alleged infringers. You then risk further legal action. Offenders will be referred to the President. Depending on the severity of the offense, disciplinary action can range from termination of GLBBS network privileges to expulsion from the college. Additionally, there may be Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Law.

Q: To whom should copyright infringement be reported?
A: GLBBS’s agent under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is Nikki Storey, President of GLBBS at 906-484-1081.