Notice to Students about P2P and File Sharing
In 2008 Congress passed and the President signed the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Several of the Act’s provisions are intended to reduce unauthorized duplication of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing on campus networks. Ridgewater College is providing you this notice in compliance with that legislation and the Department of Education’s regulations in 34 C.F.R. Part 668 (Subpart D). You are STRONGLY ADVISED to read this notice thoroughly and give it careful consideration. Paper copies of this notice and the information referenced in it are available upon request.
Ridgewater College provides a high speed network and other information technology resources to help you accomplish your educational goals. By using the computers at Ridgewater College you are agreeing to the MnSCU Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources policy. Specifically, you agree not to use Ridgewater College resources for unauthorized duplication, use, or distribution of copyrighted materials, including music and video files. Ridgewater College considers unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted music and videos to be an inappropriate use of its network resources. Moreover, such activity is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and exposes you to serious civil and criminal penalties.
The DMCA is a federal law that criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, and services intended to circumvent copyright protections. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Criminal penalties for first-time offenders can include fines of up to $250,000 and incarceration for up to five years. In civil court, damages of up to $150,000 are possible for EACH movie or song that has been illegally acquired or shared.
In December 2008, the Recording Industry Association of America ("RIAA") announced that it was abandoning its longstanding practice of filing law suits against students for infringing copyrights via illegal file sharing. The RIAA had reportedly filed over 17,500 lawsuits through early 2008 (see http://www.p2plawsuits.com). Despite the new moratorium on law suits, the RIAA’s aggressive enforcement campaign continues on other fronts and Ridgewater College urges all students to refrain from copyright infringing behavior.
Ridgewater College does not routinely monitor the content of network transmissions except as necessary to identify and repel network attacks, viruses, worms, and other malware. However, many P2P networks are used almost exclusively for illegal file sharing and are also favorite channels for spreading malware due to their popularity and pervasiveness. To mitigate these threats, Ridgewater College employs various methods to block illegitimate P2P network traffic at the perimeter of its network. Note, however, that these methods are not 100% effective and all P2P traffic is not blocked at all times. Students should assume that P2P file sharing activity on the campus network is visible to the RIAA and other content owners that monitor the Internet for copyright infringement activity.
Below is a link that allows the downloading of files from their website. This link is provided by Educause.