University of Delaware Copyright Guidelines
To facilitate the exchange of scholarly information, the University of Delaware does not restrict or filter network traffic. However, the University also respects copyright laws and will cooperate with copyright holders to identify individuals who share copyrighted materials. Downloading and distributing copies of copyrighted songs, movies, software, or other protected works without permission from the copyright owner or agent is illegal.
To allow students, faculty, and staff to access copyrighted digital media while still adhering to copyright laws and University policies, the University has compiled a list of legal sources for digital material.
FAQs about copyright infringement
Click on the headers below to read more.
Students: What happens next?Whether you are aware of the violation or not, the following procedure will occur:
- You will receive a Copyright Violation Notice with infringement specifics sent to your University email account;
- Your UD network access will be disabled;
- You must remove or disable access to the unauthorized material;
- You must complete the Copyright Education course; and
- Your UD network access will be restored after you pass a quiz and remove or disable access to the unauthorized material.
Future incidents of alleged copyright infringement will be referred to Community Standards & Conflict Resolution.
Faculty/Staff: What happens next?For faculty and staff, incidents of alleged copyright infringement could result in interdisciplinary action within your department.
- Microsoft study highlights dangers of using counterfeit software - March 12, 2013
- Man charged with ID theft using data stolen from P2P networks - September 7, 2007
- Pirated software carries increased malware threat - March 26, 2013
The best advice is to completely delete P2P applications from your computer. If you must use a P2P application to share content (e.g., personal photos, vides, or creative works in the public domain), do so carefully so that copyrighted files on your computer are not shared out to others.
If you feel the notification of claimed infringement is in error, you have the right under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (see p. 159) to file a counter notification with the University of Delaware's designated agent for copyright infringement notification.
3) Someone saw my computer sharing copyrighted material on the internet and reported it to the University? Is this legal?
Yes. Since 2004, the motion picture and recording industries have been suing those found to infringe on their copyrights via P2P networks (e.g., uTorrent, Movie Torrent, Vuze, BitTorrent, etc.). Violators can be liable for fines ranging from $750–$30,000 per file—$150,000 plus imprisonment if the infringement is willful. If the University receives a subpoena seeking your identity because the IP address used by your computer or network device (e.g., wireless router) is seen infringing on copyrights, the law requires your identity be disclosed to the courts.
Some copyright owners are now sending settlement offers to suspected violators via the violators' colleges and universities. These letters offer alleged copyright infringers an opportunity to settle without further litigation. The letters advise that the copyright owner is prepared to file a lawsuit against the user claiming that it has evidence that the user was infringing on their member's copyrights.
The University will forward these settlement letters to the individual in question. Those users receiving such letters should consult with their own attorney. The University will not be responsible for providing legal advice.
4) Someone set up my P2P application and told me it would not share. How could these claims be true?
P2P applications can expose your personal information or share copyrighted files you never intended to share out to the world without your knowledge—more than you bargained for. They can put you at risk for copyright infringement even if you think you have configured them to limit sharing. Hackers can plant infectious software to take control of your computer to attack others.
It is important to educate yourself and exercise caution. Many P2P applications hide the fact that they are designed to aggressively share everything on your hard drive and make it hard—if not impossible—to limit sharing. Remember, you are responsible for managing your PC—including security.
It doesn't matter that you don't realize that file sharing is set to 'ON' in your P2P application, hackers exploited a hole in the security of your computer, or that you set up an open-access wireless router in your room—you will be held accountable for the network activity attributed to your registered equipment whether you have knowledge of it or not.