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Copyright protection extends to original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as books, poetry, novels, movies, songs, photos, computer software, and architecture (as well as text, graphics, and logos).  Copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner. 

Wingate complies with United States copyright law as set forth in Title 17 of the United States Code, Section 106. In the peer-to-peer file-sharing context, unauthorized downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work, such as music, videos, books, games, software or other files, constitutes an infringement. All network users are responsible for using electronic materials in accordance with copyright and licensing restrictions. The use of university resources that violates copyright laws, including downloading or sharing copyright-protected works, is strictly prohibited.

Copyright infringement, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject you to civil and/or criminal liabilities, as well as personal sanctions imposed by Wingate University.



Damages for copyright infringement are not limited to actual damages or lost profits.  Courts can award statutory damages of up to $30,000 per infringement or up to $150,000 per infringement if the infringement was willful (in addition to attorneys’ fees).   

In addition to penalties imposed by the court, Wingate University can:

  • Add disciplinary sanctions for violating the Wingate Honor Code as defined in the student handbook

  • Suspend Internet access

  • Suspend user accounts

If you’d like more information, we invite you to review the copyright section in the Wingate University Student Handbook or visit the United States Copyright Office website. The FAQ page is especially helpful.