Acceptable Use Policy: Illegal Downloading and Copyright Infringement
- DMCA & Illegal File Sharing/Downloading
- Legal Alternatives
- Copyright Infringement Policies, Procedures & Sanctions (Student Code of Conduct)
- KU Acceptable Use Policy
- Campus Downloading: Protect Yourself. Do It Legally
- US Copyright Office
In October 1998, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was signed into law. The intent of the DMCA is to prevent illegal downloads and file sharing.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and illegal downloading occur in the university setting since these institutions are generally acting as Internet Service Providers (ISP) for their campus. Because the DMCA requires copyright holders to notify Kutztown University if a network user has illegally downloaded content, students who utilize their computing privileges for illegal downloading and file sharing will face temporary or permanent suspension of their University and/or ResNet computing privileges, additional disciplinary action for a violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct, and the possibility criminal or civil prosecution by the copyright holder.
Members of the campus community should be aware that illegal sharing and/or downloading copyrighted music, videos, and film is prohibited by law and by KU policy. The recording and motion picture industries take steps to identify and prosecute individual engaged in copyright infringement and often target college and universities for enforcement.
Be cautious. There are ample services and websites that allow for the legal use and downloading of digital media. For example, the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) maintains a list of approved music downloading services.
(Student Code of Conduct, Article V)
Consistent with the University's acceptable use policies, the illegal distribution of copyright material including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing on University owned, operated or maintained networks may subject students to civil and criminal penalties under federal law. A link to the specific legal penalties as defined by law may be found at Kutztown University's Student Consumer Information portal.
Students who violate university policy with respect to copyright infringement and illegal downloading will be held accountable through the university student conduct process. Minor first time offenses subject students to a disciplinary reprimand and participation in an educational program about copyright infringement and illegal downloading. If an infraction occurs on the residence hall network a student will be required to bring their computer or computing device to the ResNet Office for inspection and cleaning prior to having their network access restored. Repeat offenders may have their network privileges temporarily or permanently revoked; prolific or chronic offenders may face removal from the residence halls, suspension from the institution, and/or permanent loss of computer privileges. As noted above, a student may face criminal or civil action in addition to any administrative response from the university.
For more information, refer to the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov.