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Copyright infringement and you

As required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, Shepherd University has put together these web pages to inform current and prospective students about copyright laws and the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, commonly referred to as illegal downloading or copyright infringement, and frequently facilitated via peer-to-peer file sharing networks. This information is permanently available at and is available in printed form upon request.

Once per year, students will be given appropriate notice of this information via electronic mail at their Shepherd University email addresses. In each of the following sections, there is an easier-to-read summary followed by the exacting details. Please be sure you understand this information fully, and contact us if you have specific questions.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act notification
Summary: How to contact I. T. Services if you think the DMCA was violated.

Civil and criminal penalties
Summary: You could owe as much as $150,000 for each song or music download, and maybe end up in prison.

Legal alternatives
Summary: Buy your music and movies, or find artists who are cool with giving away their art.

Shepherd's Copyright Policies and Procedures
Summary: These are the rules we all follow to ensure ethical and legal use of network resources.

Technical Methods
Summary: We use network tools to ensure illegal downloading gets the lowest priority, while legitimate academic purposes get high priority.

Summary: We check back each year to see if our plans are working. So far, they have been.

Shepherd University | I. T. Services | P.O. Box 5000 | Shepherdstown, WV | 25443-5000
User Support Desk 304-876-5457 | Main Number 304-876-5245 | email: