the no electronic theft law (net act)

College networks are known as hotbeds of media file sharing and this has not escaped the attention of the music industry or federal prosecutors. The College cannot protect users from legal action if they ignore copyright laws. Please familiarize yourself with your legal responsibility concerning electronic theft.

No Electronic Theft Law (NET Act) The No Electronic Theft law (the NET Act) sets forth that sound recording infringements (including by digital means) can be criminally prosecuted even where no monetary profit or commercial gain is derived from the infringing activity. Punishment in such instances includes up to 3 years in prison and/or $250,000 fines. The NET Act also extends the criminal statute of limitations for copyright infringement from 3 to 5 years.

Additionally, the NET Act amended the definition of "commercial advantage or private financial gain" to include the receipt (or expectation of receipt) of anything of value, including receipt of other copyrighted works (as in MP3 trading). Punishment in such instances includes up to 5 years in prison and/or $250,000 fines. Individuals may also be civilly liable, regardless of whether the activity is for profit, for actual damages or lost profits, or for statutory damages up to $150,000 per work infringed.