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Intellectual Property, Piracy, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

Music and Movie Piracy - and the DMCA

Acting as required under the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and other regulations, the College continues to identify students who were allegedly illegally sharing pirated music, movies, and software. Following up on reports of alleged copyright infringement, dozens of students are referred to the Student Affairs disciplinary process each year.

Under the DMCA the College is required to track all reports of alleged copyright infringement. If you are illegally sharing materials on the Internet, you will be caught, and you will be putting your housing and academic career at Purchase in jeopardy as a result.

As a community of artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers and scholars whose careers will be spent creating intellectual property, we encourage you to respect the property of others. It is both unethical and illegal to share or download copyrighted music, movies, software, and other materials across the Internet. It is also a violation of the Purchase College Computer Ethics Policy, and of the Purchase College Community Standards of Conduct. Over the last decade the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing services has increased dramatically, nationwide. Purchase College has taken steps to limit (without prohibiting) the impact of these services on our network. However, every year, violations are reported to the College that often result in disciplinary and/or legal action against students illegally sharing files. The College is legally obligated to act on every DMCA infringement report we receive.

Upon receiving a report of a violation from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) or the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) or their designees, the reported violation is documented, the materials are “taken down” from our network (Internet service to the computer in question is shut off), and the student is “notified” and referred to the campus disciplinary process. The use of college systems and network services is a privilege provided to students to support their academic endeavors, and the loss of this privilege could adversely impact academic or professional activities. In addition, many of files shared on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks such as Bit-Torrent are also infected with worms, viruses and spyware. Downloading anything onto your machine from untrustworthy P2P sources exposes you to cyber-threats, and often violates the Copyright laws.

There are free legal alternatives: Pandora is one site that allows you to set up “stations” which you seed with one or more of your favorite artists or songs. Pandora then streams those, along with similar music, and is a great way to discover new music along with your old favorites. Another legal alternative is Grooveshark, which allows you to “Listen to any song in the world for free.” Both Pandora and Grooveshark also have mobile apps for your android or iphone. There are many other legal alternatives as well.

Please respect the property of other musicians and filmmakers, and don’t put yourself in jeopardy by illegally downloading materials from the Internet.