Distributing copyrighted materials across the University network?

STOP!

Are you downloading or distributing copyrighted materials, such as music, videos or movies, or games across the University's network system via peer-to-peer (P2P), E-mail, FTP, WWW, Chat, ICQ, etc?  If you are, you're in violation of both the University's Judicial Code (several sections, see below) as well as numerous federal, state, and local laws!

This activity is both illegal, and gums-up the Internet connection, depriving others of legitimate access to the Internet.  Examples of such materials include:

When a copyrightholder, or a representative such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Business Software Alliance (BSA), notifies the University that they have discovered a copyright violation on a computer connected to the network:


Questions and answers:

Is it illegal for me to download unauthorized copies of music, movies, games or software?
YES - according to Federal Law and the University Judicial Code (see below.)

Is it illegal for me to upload, transmit, send, or offer unauthorized copies of music, movies, games or software?
YES - according to Federal Law and the University Judicial Code (see below.)

Is it illegal for me to perform and record my own music, write my own games, or film my own videos for distribution?
No - you may distribute content that you create yourself on the University's network, provided that it does not violate federal, state, or municipal law, and does not create an undue strain on the University's resources or Internet connection.

Has anyone been charged under this code?
YES

University Judicial Code (excerpt)

XII. Punishable Misconduct

A. Damage and/or destruction and/or theft of University property or property belonging to others on the University campus; failure to maintain a residential area at an acceptable standard as defined by the Office of Residential Life; failure to report accidental damage of University property or property belonging to others on the University campus; possession of property belonging to others on the University campus; possession of property on University premises allegedly stolen from the University or from others.

Typical sanctions may include reimbursement, a $100 fine, letter(s) of apology to specific individual(s), community service and banning from a specific area of campus.  Sanctions may be a severe as suspension or expulsion from the University.


R. Commission of any act that would constitute a crime under federal, state or municipal law.

Typical sanctions may include twelve (12) consecutive calendar months or probation, assessment, community service, reimbursement, banning from certain areas of campus, and suspension from the University.


Z. Abuse of computer access -- When there is an indication of any of the following abuse, which either interferes with the proper functioning of the system or impinges on another user's rights, charges will be brought under this code.  A student's privileges to use the computer area or system may be suspended pending the outcome of the judicial hearing.

  • unauthorized attempt to modify computer equipment or peripherals;
  • unauthorized attempt to modify software components, such as operating systems, compilers, utility routines, etc.;
  • use of an account without proper authorization from the owner of that account;
  • use of an account, either University-funded or externally funded, for purposes other than that which funds have been authorized;
  • reading or use of private files, including the University's administrative or academic files, without proper authorization, or changing or deleting private files belonging to another user without proper authorization;
  • violations of property rights and copyrights in data and computer programs;
  • use of software to communicate offensive or obscene messages to other users of the system;
  • use of University facilities, hardware or software, in the commission or attempted commission of a crime, under federal, state, or local law;
  • knowingly introducing or attempting to introduce a computer virus.

Typical sanctions may include twelve (12) consecutive calendar months of probation, community service, a $100 fine, reimbursement, loss of computer system privileges and suspension from the University.  Sanctions may be as severe as expulsion from the University.