Home » Delta State University Policies » University Policies » Technology » Operation and Responsibility » Copyright Infringement
The use of computers or network systemsin no way exempts any member of the University community from the normal requirements of ethical or legal behavior in the Delta State community. In particular, data, software, and computer capacity have value and must be treated accordingly. Each member of the community is responsible for his/her actions whether or not rules are built in, and whether or not they can be circumvented. Individuals using the campus computer systems for any purpose, including email communications, are subject to the rules imposed by the University to protect the University resources, including individuals and equipment, and the rules imposed by any governing body.
Copying, downloading, storing, displaying, or distributing copyrighted material using University systems or networks without the express permission of the copyright owner, except as otherwise allowed under the copyright law, is prohibited. Under the Federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, repeat infringements of copyright by a user can result in termination of the user’s access to University systems and networks, and further prosecution as is warranted by state and Federal Laws and the Federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.
College/Unit Policy Officer: A person with responsibility for issues having broad-based policy implications for students, faculty, and staff in the college/unit; an Associate Dean or similar position.
Electronic Communications: The use of computers and network systems in the communicating or posting of information or material by way of electronic mail, bulletin boards, or other such electronic tools.
Network Systems: Includes voice, video and data networks, switches, routers, wireless devices, and storage devices.
System or Network Administrator: A university employee responsible for managing the operation or operating system environments of computers or network systems, respectively.
University Computers and Network Systems (University Systems): Computers, networks, servers, and other similar devices that are administered by the university and for which the university is responsible. Throughout this policy, the shortened term "university systems" is used to mean all university computers and network systems.
Copyright Infringement: Copying, storing, displaying, or distributing copyrighted material using University systems or networks without the express permission of the copyright owner, except as otherwise allowed under the copyright law, is prohibited. Under the Federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, repeat infringements of copyright by a user can result in termination of the user’s access to University systems and networks, and further prosecution as is warranted by state and Federal Laws and the Federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.
PROCEDURES and RESPONSIBILITIES
The distribution of copyrighted materials over the Internet for which the distributor (any server — including your computer) does not have permission can be violation of federal criminal law, a law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (“DMCA”). Most of the music, games or videos downloaded through file-sharing programs lack permission of the copyright owner. Moreover, those very programs that enable an individual or that an individual uses to download programs automatically open file-sharing services from the computer. Thus, without knowing it explicitly, by downloading the program and the files, the computer is programmed to share it back out into the international Internet community. The user is then therefore liable to be in violation of the DMCA, even if a single song was downloaded. Each criminal offense carries with it a minimum fine of $30,000 and a potential jail sentence.
Delta State University receives notices of copyright infringement under the DMCA. These notices come from software or entertainment industries that focus their Internet scans on university or college networks for specific games, songs or videos. They focus on colleges and universities because the DMCA makes Internet service providers liable for contributory copyright violations if they do not remove infringing material when they have notice of it and because college campuses are hotbeds of file sharing activity.
To alleviate its potential liability, Delta State University must respond to these notices expeditiously. The individual usually finds out about it when they receive a standard notice form from the university’s designated DMCA agent informing them that a copyright holder has sent the university a notice of infringement identifying their DHCP address. The individual is requested to confirm a cease and desist action to the copyright agent.
If the individual ignores the request, then the DMCA agent instructs the network operations center to block their IP address, which effectively blocks their Internet connection.
Ways to prevent breaking copyright laws:
· Do not download copyrighted material for which you do not have the owner’s permission.
· If you have file-sharing programs on your computer, set the program such that it no longer serves materials out from your computer.
· Turn off File and Print Sharing on your computer. Network operators with responsibilities to maintain a safe and functional network will check and regulate for excessive volumes (they do not monitor content), and there are protocols for excessive use as well.
Violations of these policies may result in the immediate suspension of computer account and network access pending investigation of circumstances and may lead to their eventual revocation. Serious violations of the policy will be referred directly to the appropriate University or outside authorities. Unauthorized use of University computing facilities can be a criminal offense. The penalties may be as severe as suspension or dismissal from the University and/or criminal prosecution.
Violators of this policy will be dealt with according to the details outlined in the University’s Responsible Use of Electronic Communications policy. Those who cannot accept these standards of behavior will be denied use of Delta State computers or network systems. Violators may also be subject to penalties under University regulations and under state and federal laws.
- Policy on “Responsible Use of Electronic Communications”