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Appropriate Use Policy for Students

Policy on the violation of copyright law using university resources

 

The basic policy is this:

Do not violate copyright laws.

This includes using Trinity computing facilities and resources to receive, retransmit, duplicate, destroy or tamper with software, data or files, whether stored or transmitted, unless authorized by legal copyright license, Trinity University policy, and all other applicable laws.

Examples of protected materials include: written material, sound files, pictures, photos, films, animations, and software not originally created by you.

What is copyright?

Why does the US protect copyright?

What are specific example of copyright violations?

Why does Trinity care about your use of copyrighted material?

What happens if I distribute copyrighted material from my computer?

I still don't understand. I thought things were different on the internet.

What is copyright?

A good definition of copyright appears at the following site: http://www.csusa.org/?page=Basics#cb1

FACE stands for Friends of Active Copyright Education. It has clear, helpful information about copyright and its relation to words, images, moving images, music and the Internet. All of the information on the FACE site is in laymen's terms, not legalese. A brief version of their definition appears below:

DEFINITION OF COPYRIGHT

"Copyright" refers to the legal recognition by the laws of the United States that certain kinds of works of authorship are personal property. The Copyright Act gives to authors of "original works of authorship," both published and unpublished, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, the right to control the copying and distribution of their works. *

Why does the US protect copyright?

The law extends copyright to the producers of written, recorded and other published works so those producers may protect their works from unlawful distribution. In short, authors, poets, musicians, and scholars (including your professors) have a protected right to make money from the sale of their works. They also have the right to authorize free use of their materials. When copyrighted material is distributed without that authorization via file sharing or other reproduction, it is a form of theft.

What are specific examples of copyright violations?

If you copy and load music, movies, images, or text from another source onto your computer, you may be violating copyright laws. If you make those music files, movies, images, or text available via a web-site, file-sharing, or some other distribution, you are DEFINITELY violating copyright laws.

Some recent examples of copyright violations at Trinity include resident students making available major motion pictures to the Internet via file-sharing. The Motion Picture Association of America is able to track those films to Trinity, and has asked that we remove the films immediately.

Why does Trinity care about your use of copyrighted material?

In the digital age, court decisions about copyrighted material have become increasingly supportive of the authors, owners, producers and legal distributors of copyrighted material. In recent decisions, universities have become financially liable for the actions of those in their communities (i.e. faculty, staff, and students). For example, Trinity also requires that faculty members must obtain permission to use copyrighted material in your classroom assignments.

Trinity prohibits students from violating copyright law because they or the university can be held accountable for their actions. If a music or movie studio finds that the TUNetwork is the source of illegal file distribution for materials owned by the studio, Trinity can be sued and fined. Some suits have cost institutions hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Even more important, you can become liable for damages if you fail to comply with copyright laws. One recent case at a California university resulted in fines to an individual in excess of $150,000. Trinity advises you to comply with copyright to protect you from very expensive lawsuits and fines.

What happens if I distribute copyrighted material from my computer?

First, you will receive a “Take Down Notice” via email requesting that the file sharing program(s) as well as the shared music, film, television and/or game files be removed from your server. You also will communicate with Trinity's Copyright Officer who will provide you with additional educational material about copyright.

If you receive a second “Take Down Notice” you will be required to pay a $20 fee to have a Resident Computer Consultant (RCC) confirm the removal of the file sharing program(s) and file(s). In addition, you will be required to take a $35 online course called "Cyber Citizenship 100."

Failure to complete these sanctions or subsequent violations result in referral to the Conduct Board.

I still don't understand. I thought things were different on the internet.

So do a lot of other people, but most of what people consider truth are actually myths when it comes to the internet and copyright.

* Information obtained from Friends of Active Copyright Education (FA©E), an initiative of the Copyright Society of the USA