Understand copyright laws and file sharing

Understand copyright laws and file sharing

University of Delaware policy requires that everyone who uses the University network comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, including those regarding copyright (e.g., Digital Millennium Copyright Act [DMCA]).

Copyright laws prohibit the unauthorized use, duplication, or distribution of literary or artistic works (e.g., music, videos, games, software, and books). If you use peer-to-peer (P2P) or torrent software to exchange digital content, you are violating copyright law and you will lose network access. Repeat violators will be suspended from the network for a minimum of 30 days and will also be referred to Community Standards & Conflict Resolution. The copyright holder may choose to pursue legal action against copyright violators.

If you have ever used P2P file sharing applications such as BitTorrent before you arrive at the University, you risk violating federal copyright law when you bring your computer to campus. These applications can run without your knowledge, sharing not only copyrighted files, but every file on your computer with people all over the world.

The best advice: Delete file sharing applications before bringing your computer to campus!

Tips for respecting copyrights

  • Get rid of P2P apps. File-sharing applications can share your personal information with the world, download malware and infected files, and violate copyright laws. They're not worth the risk.
  • Download files legally. EDUCAUSE provides a list of legal sources of online content, including music, movies, TV shows, and books.
  • Support the artists. When you purchase music, movies, TV shows, and books, you support the artists, studios, and writers responsible for bringing you the content you enjoy.

Your responsibilities as a student

As a student at the University, you're responsible for protecting yourself, your information, and your devices as well as the University's IT resources as you use them.

  1. Use IT resources appropriately
  2. Take responsibility for your device's activity
  3. Protect and clean your computer
  4. Use strong and unique passwords
  5. Protect yourself from phishing and other fraud
  6. Understand copyright laws and file sharing
  7. Protect your online reputation
  8. Understand the consequences for violating the rules