University of California, San Diego
OFFICE OF THE VICE CHANCELLOR -
OFFICE OF THE VICE CHANCELLOR -
October 7, 2003
ALL STUDENTS AT UCSD
SUBJECT: File-Sharing and Copyright Infringement
We are alerting the campus community -- students, faculty and staff -- to the personal risks involved with illegal file-sharing. It is important that you understand these risks not only because of the possibility of disciplinary action, but also to protect yourself against criminal prosecution and the initiation of civil litigation by copyright holders. We would like you to be very aware that initiation of legal action by copyright holders is becoming more of a reality every day.
Though trading of copyrighted music, movies, games and software over the Internet has become commonplace using file-sharing programs such as KaZaa or Morpheus, it is often not legal to do so. Most material is copyrighted, and with the exception of special circumstances involving the use of portions of works by classroom instructors, obtaining or offering such material without appropriate permission is a violation of US copyright law and may be punishable with civil and criminal penalties including prison time and money damages.
Some believe that "recreational file-sharing" is unlikely to be Noticed. This is not the case. The reality is that copyright holders are significantly intensifying enforcement using automated scanning software to identify infringements, no matter how small. The Recording Industry of America Association on April 4, 2003 filed suit against four students at three universities for copyright infringement. Settlements ranged from $12,000 to $17,000. In early September 2003, an additional 261 individuals (including a 12 year old girl) were sued for alleged copyright violations against RIAA clients. Indications are that the RIAA intends to continue to file suit against individuals who illegally share copyrighted material.
As the Internet Service Provider to the campus community, UCSD receives dozens of infringement claims every month. In compliance with the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and University of California Guidelines for Compliance with Online Service Provider Provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act http://www.ucop.edu/irc/policy/dmcaguide.html, UCSD expeditiously takes steps required by the Act to prevent violations of copyright laws when notified of infringing sites located on the campus network. DMCA notifications received by the UCSD computer network administrators are forwarded to the registered owner of the machine (or designated technical contact); it is expected that the offending material, if it exists, will be removed at once. All of these incidents will be referred to the appropriate campus officials for their review and appropriate disciplinary action.
It has come to our attention that some of the better known peer-to-peer networks are experimenting with "authorized distribution" of selected software in return for which a fee (or some other remuneration) is paid to nodes which allow themselves to be used as distribution points. Such activity is not allowed on the UCSD network, as it would constitute commercial use of University resources.
To assist in this awareness effort, the University of California has developed a Web site featuring a wide range of information related to the use of copyrighted and public domain materials by individuals and educational institutions, at
Please submit any questions you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven W. Relyea