Copyright Policy

Copyright is an "intellectual" property right, defined as the exclusive right of a creator to reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, display, sell, lend or rent his/her creation(s). Copyright protects "forms of expression" (e.g., poetry, prose, computer programs, artwork, written or recorded music, animations, movies and videos, java applets, web pages, architectural drawings, photographs, and more) that are fixed in a tangible medium.

MWCC students, faculty, and staff who are responsible for college activities or projects are responsible for learning about applicable fair use and for following its dictates. Members of the college community who willfully disregard the copyright policy do so at their own risk and assume all liability. The best advice is to act in an informed and good faith manner.

FAQ: What will happen if I do not follow this policy accurately?

The person who actually commits the infringement is liable. Case law is slowly evolving. In cases of "willful disregard of the law," criminal actions may be taken. Statutory damages of up to $100,000 per work infringed may be awarded.

Willful infringement means that you knew you were infringing and you did it anyway. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. If you don't know that you are infringing, you may be liable for damages — only the amount of the award will be affected.

The full text of Copyright and Fair Use at MWCC: Guidelines for the College Community is available at this link.