Intellectual Property

It is the policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents to: (1) encourage inventions, discoveries, and the production of copyrightable materials by members of the institutional communities; (2) facilitate the utilization of such discoveries and materials to the benefit of the public, the institution, and the members of the institutional community; and (3) provide for the equitable sharing of any proceeds derived from the commercial exploitation of inventions, discoveries, and copyrightable materials in which the institution is determined to have an interest.


For more information regarding Intellectual Property policies, see the Northeast State Faculty/Staff Policies and Procedures Manual (Policy 04:20:00, Patents and Copyrights), Tennessee Board of Regents' Policy 5:01:06:00, Intellectual Property , and The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Notice: Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals, including students, to civil and criminal liabilities.  
In utilizing any of the exclusive rights provided to the copyright holder without his or her permission, you may be violating or infringing on his or her rights under the Copyright Act. If the copyright holder has registered the infringed work with the U.S. Copyright Office prior to the infringement, the copyright holder may be entitled to compensation for his or her loss. Compensation may include damages, such as lost profits from the infringing activity, or statutory damages ranging from $250 to $150,000 for each infringing copy or higher if the court feels that the infringement was committed "willfully."

You may also be criminally liable if you willfully copy a work for profit or financial gain, or if the work has a value of more than $1,000. Penalties can include a one year jail sentence plus fines. If the value is more than $2,500, you may be sentenced to five years in jail plus fines. Criminal penalties generally apply to large-scale commercial piracy.