Copyright law protects music, movies, games, and software and therefore, sharing them with someone poses a serious legal risk.
File share programs may share files while the user is not even actively using them. This may result in legal notices and lawsuits and cost both the University and the individuals.
To avoid these risks we are planning to do the following:
- We will explicitly inform the students (by web, plasma screen, printed materials, and other means of communication) that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities.
- A summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws will be posted on the website.
- A description of the institution’s policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students, faculty, and staff who engage in illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution’s information technology system.
- We have implemented certain technology-based deterrents, such as bandwidth shaping and traffic monitoring. An IPS has been deployed that restricts commonly abused peer-to-peer file-sharing applications. We plan to investigate and possibly deploy some commercial products designed to reduce the sharing of copyrighted materials.