Under federal law, a person found to have infringed upon a copyrighted work may be liable for actual damages and lost profits attributable to the infringement, and statutory damages from $200 up to $150,000. The copyright owner also has the right to permanently enjoin an infringer from further infringing activities, and the infringing copies and equipment used in the infringement can be impounded and destroyed. If a copyright owner hired an attorney to enforce his or her rights, the infringer of a work may also be liable for the attorney's fees as well as court costs. Finally, criminal penalties may also be assessed against the infringer and could include jail time depending upon the nature of the violation.
Students are also responsible for observing the policies, rules, and regulations of NSU. Failure to show respect for duly established laws or University regulations will be handled by the Office of Judicial Affairs in conformance with the various policies and regulations.


Northern follows a formal, documented and established procedure of accepting and responding to Digital Millenium Copyright Act notices. Internet bandwidth is monitored in residence life buildings, campus classrooms and administrative offices. Certain limits are established, and if those limits are exceeded, and it is known a peer-to-peer program was used, the computer is blocked from the network. The MAC address is used as an identifier. The machine must be declared compliant before it can be added back to the network. The person who used/owns the computer must visit with the chief IT security officer. If use is abnormally high or the individual continues to use excessive bandwidth, a complaint is filed with the Office of Judicial Affairs and they are responsible for adjudication.


Northern maintains a comprehensive list of legal alternatives for digital downloading. The list of alternatives can be found at Educause.
Training and awareness presentations are conducted throughout the academic year. Those who have violated copyright and fair use policy through downloading and sharing of copyright protected materials must submit their computers to the NSU Help Desk for verification that the material and applications used to download and share the product(s) are removed from their electronic device. In addition, they must meet with the Office of Judicial Affairs for further disciplinary action.