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Copyright: Penalties

Purpose & Disclaimer

Greenville Technical College Libraries maintains this guide to provide a resource for copyright-related information and services. The information presented in this guide is for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for actual legal advice. Please consult an expert in copyright law for legal advice.

About Copyright Penalities

Chapter 5 of U.S. Copyright Law states that copyright owners have the right to seek recovery of actual damages and lost profits when infringement occurs. Disputes are heard in federal court, and when the plaintiff prevails the court may:

  • issue an injunction.
  • impound and dispose of infringing articles and equipment such as molds, master tapes, negatives, etc.
  • award actual damages and lost profits proven by the plaintiff.
  • impose criminal penalties when infringement is willfully committed for commercial advantage or financial gain or when in a 180-day period, copyrighted works with a retail value of $1,000 or more are reproduced and/or distributed.

If the violated work has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, the courts may also:

  • award statutory damages ranging from $750 to $30,000 for the infringement of any one work, and up to $150,000 in the case of willful infringement.
  • award attorney's fees and costs.
  • In cases where the defendant proves that he was unaware that he was infringing on copyright, the court has the option of reducing statutory damages to an award of not less than $200.

GTC Policies & Procedures

Greenville Technical College provides an administrative policy on copyright and intellectual property and a copyright compliance form to help employees, students, and others document efforts to properly use copyrighted materials and comply with United States Copyright Law (Title 17, United States Code, Sect 101, et seq.).

GTC faculty, staff, and students do not have permission to copy or distribute inclusive access materials provided by the Bookstore. Publisher and vendor agreements only allow digital access by individuals that have purchased the content. 


Contact the Greenville Technical College Copyright Officer :
Tara Weekes
Director of Learning Resources
Barton Campus, Building 105, Room 129
(864) 236-6500

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