Disclosure related to unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

There has been a recent uptick in the quantity of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)  illegal file sharing notifications received by the University.


Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, such as through peer-to-peer networks may subject employees and students to civil and criminal penalties.


There have been several recent out-of-court settlements involving TU students.  As an illustration, some of these settlements have been rumored to exceed $3,000.  You can search for and read about much greater penalties assessed elsewhere.


The University policy on peer-to-peer file sharing is posted on the University website.  Go to the “Technology” link on the secondary menu at the very top of the University home page; then, follow the “Policies” link. Please read the “University Response to DMCA Notifications” policy.  The very first notification event results in a $250 service fee assessed by the University.


The University uses bandwidth shaping and traffic monitoring techniques to manage its internet resources and as a deterrent to illegal file sharing.


The list of “free” and “fee-based” music services is an ever evolving list.  The University cannot make specific recommendations related to music and video services. However, any current list of fee-based services certainly includes, for example,  iTunes and mySpace.


On July 31, 2008, Congress completed reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) by passing the Higher Education Opportunity Act.  The President signed the bill into law on August 14, 2008.  Among the many provisions in the bill is a provision related to illegal peer-to-peer file sharing.  The American Council on Education analysis of the act can be found on page 5 of the search result for “ACE Analysis of Higher Education Act Reauthorization.”


Thanks for your attention to this matter.


Dale Schoenefeld, Ph.D.

Vice President for Information Services and CIO