A copyright is the right of authors, artists, etc. to publish their works and to prevent others from copying them. Copyright infringement is the unlicensed or unauthorized copying of a copyrighted work. The rights of an author, artist, etc. are infringed upon if someone else does any of the following things:
- reproduces the copyrighted work
- prepares works derived from the copyrighted work
- distributes copies of the copyrighted work to the public
- in the case of sound recordings, performs the copyrighted work publicly through digital audio transmission
Downloading and sharing copyrighted material by any means without the express written permission from the copyright holder is illegal. Use only media or software that you have purchased yourself.
Copyright infringement is serious business. It’s not only in violation of federal and state laws, but it’s also against University policy. Violators will be subject to criminal prosecution and/or University disciplinary action. Remember that plagiarism or copyright violation can have serious implications for your future employment opportunities as well as your good standing at Penn State.