7.03 Copyright Infringement

Title: Copyright Infringement
Number: AP 7.03
Adopted: December 2017
Reviewed: March 2020
Revised: June 2018

It is the policy of Nicolet College to comply with the United States Copyright Law of 1976, as amended (Title 17, United States Code). Thus, all faculty, staff, and students of Nicolet College are required to respect the proprietary rights of owners of copyrights and refrain from actions that infringe the rights of copyright owners.

The penalties for violation of United States copyright law can be severe. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, access costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

Employees and students may be personally responsible for the defense of a civil action for copyright infringement. In addition, members of the college who willfully violate this Policy are subject to disciplinary action by the college up to and including termination/expulsion, consistent with established college disciplinary procedures.

Nicolet College believes very strongly in promoting compliance with United States copyright laws and protecting the intellectual property interests of copyright owners. We are committed to educating our students and employees as to the importance of copyright compliance and the penalties associated with committing copyright infringement. All students and employees of Nicolet College are responsible for reviewing, understanding and complying with United States copyright laws. Information on such laws is available from the U.S. Copyright Office at:


Nicolet College is also in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). The following policies and procedures have been adopted to ensure that Nicolet College remains in compliance with the DMCA:

  • We will promptly investigate any complaints properly made pursuant to the DMCA by copyright owners regarding allegedly infringing activity by any student or employee of Nicolet College.
  • We will notify the allegedly infringing user of the complaint by forwarding the complaint to the user and discussing the matter in person with the user. We will inform the user that such allegations, if true, constitute a violation of United States copyright laws.
  • If we believe that the activity violates any applicable law, we will expeditiously take down or block access to any infringing material and/or require the student or college employee to permanently delete any infringing material from his or her computer hard drive and any other place in which such infringing material resides, and confirm in writing that such deletion has occurred.
  • We will temporarily block the user's access to the college network.
    • Upon the second occurrence by a user of any activity or activities that Nicolet College believes violates any applicable law, we will permanently block such user's access to the college network.

In addition, in order for Nicolet College to remain in compliance with the DMCA, its faculty or adjunct faculty members may not require, recommend, or make available online course materials that infringe on a copyright owner's interest.

If an allegedly infringing user wishes to dispute the copyright owner's claim, the user must, within 72 hours, respond to Nicolet College with a statement containing the following information:

  • Name, address, and phone number of the allegedly infringing user
  • Identification of the material in dispute
    • Statement that the allegedly infringing user has a good faith belief that either (i) the material is not, and never was, in the user's possession or located on any property owned or used by the user, or (ii) the material was mistakenly identified as infringing on the copyright
    • A physical or electronic signature of the allegedly infringing user

Upon receiving this statement, we will immediately forward it to the copyright owner who submitted the complaint, and we will consider the matter resolved unless we hear otherwise from the copyright owner. We will attempt to resolve all disputes within 10 days after receiving the complaint.

Additional information regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act may be found at http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/circs/circ1a.html.

Information for Copyright Owners

If you are a copyright owner and are concerned that material viewed on our website may violate your rights under United States copyright law under the DMCA, please contact ("Nicolet College's Designated Agent to Receive Notification of Claimed Infringement"),  Nicolet College, 5364 College Drive, Box 518, Rhinelander WI, 54501; telephone number 715-365-4615. Please provide the following information:

  • Electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner       of the copyright interest;
  • Description of the copyrighted work that your claim has been infringed upon;
  • Description and web link of where the alleged infringing material is located on the college website;
  • Your address, telephone number and e-mail address;
  • Statement by you that you have a good-faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
  • Statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.