Beware of copyright infringement
The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material (including but not limited to music, movies and games) and peer-to-peer file sharing is unethical, illegal and may subject a student to civil and criminal liabilities. Follow these steps to prevent illegal file sharing.
File sharing means to make files available for other individuals to download. It can be as simple as sharing a file for general consumption via a personal website or enabling file sharing on your computer so you can access your personal computer’s files at work. The most common and controversial method of file sharing is peer-to-peer (P2P) software. This includes Limewire, Morpheus and BitTorrent, to name only a few. P2P software packages are installed by the computer’s owner. These programs download “free” music or videos that are generally copyrighted. Most of the files are downloaded from another computer across the network. In addition, your computer becomes part of this network, enabling other individuals on the Internet to download music from your computer.
A copyright grants the creator of material exclusive rights to its distribution. Federal copyright laws prohibit copying, distributing, publicly displaying or performing a copyrighted work without the author’s permission. You are responsible and subject to penalties for downloading and distributing copyrighted material illegally. The majority of P2P file sharing is illegal because it involves sharing copyrighted or restricted music or videos. Sharing non-copyrighted material, or copyrighted material with permission from the creator, is legal.
File sharing at SU
Syracuse University is a strong proponent of copyright law and other protections for intellectual property rights. As required by the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), which enforces the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) at educational institutions, SU actively promotes awareness about copyrighting and cooperates with copyright holders who believe that illegal distribution is occurring on university networks. When you buy music legally, there is usually a copyright mark somewhere on the product. Stolen music generally doesn’t bear a copyright mark or warning. Either way, the copyright law still applies. A copyrighted creative work does not have to be marked as such to be protected by law. Copyright infringement is a violation of federal law and is strictly prohibited at SU. When notification of copyright infringement is received, the university investigates and keeps track of students who appear to be violating SU’s copyright rules. SU then enacts its three-strike policy.
Strike 1: The offending computer is quarantined from the network. The user who has registered that computer is contacted via e-mail and directed to SU’s Information Technology Resources Acceptable Use Policy regarding the sharing of electronic copyrighted material. The user is required to assert that they have read and understood the policy. Once this is done, the quarantine is lifted.
Strike 2: The offending computer is quarantined from the network. The user who has registered that computer is contacted via e-mail and required to make an appointment with the Director of Information Security for a counseling session. During this session, the user is instructed on SU’s Information Technology Resources Acceptable Use Policy regarding the sharing of electronic copyrighted material. Once this is done, the quarantine is lifted.
Strike 3: The offending computer is quarantined from the network. The user who has registered that computer is referred to Judicial Affairs (if a student) or Human Resources (if faculty or staff) for disciplinary action which may include loss of all SU network privileges.