Student Consumer Information

HEOA Compliance

HEOA Compliance and P2P File Sharing Requirements

Copyright Laws and Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing allows end-users to share files online through computers that are running the same software. While file sharing in itself is not illegal, it is a violation of federal law and ECPI UNIVERSITY policy to share and/or distribute copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright holder.

Unintended Consequences

File-sharing can give you access to a wealth of information, but it also has a number of risks. You could download copyright-protected material, pornography, or viruses without meaning to. Or you could mistakenly allow other people to copy files you don't mean to share.(from OnGuardOnline.gov)

ECPI University Policy

All University members agree to the University's Network Acceptable Use policy, upon logging into the ECPI UNIVERSITY Network. Violation of this agreement can result in the following:

  • ECPI UNIVERSITY will disable network access for any end-user for which a complaint of copyright infringement has been received. The end-user network access will need to be reinstated after investigation and counseling to regain network access.
  • If the end-user is named in additional complaints, they may lose long term access to network service.
  • Students will be referred to the Director of Education for further review and action.
  • Faculty and staff will be referred to their supervisor for further review and action.

Legal Liability

You can be sued for sharing copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright holder. The law specifies that you can be liable for:

  • Litigation costs, attorney fees, and actual damages, or statutory damages of $750 to $30,000 for each work infringed. The maximum is raised to $150,000 for cases of "willful infringement"
  • Possible criminal penalties up to $250,000, and/or imprisonment.
  • Statutory damages of $200 to $2,500 for each action taken to circumvent technological measures used to control access to copyrighted works or prevent infringement of the exclusive rights of copyright owners. (Example: you rip a DVD and remove the CSS encryption)
  • Statutory damages of $2,500-$25,000 for removal or alteration of copyright management information. (Example: You rip a DVD and don't include the FBI warning in the copy)

RIAA Pre-Litigation Settlement Letter

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) will typically request Internet service providers to forward a pre-litigation settlement letter to a end-user associated with a computer distributing copyrighted songs. The settlement letter lists songs allegedly shared from that end-user's computer and suggests that the end-user can "settle" the case by paying $350 for each song (vs. a minimum fine of $750 or higher per song if found guilty of infringement in court).

As An Internet Provider, ECPI UNIVERSITY:

  1. Complies with the requirements of the DMCA and expects individuals to comply with the law and with the ECPI UNIVERSITY Network Policy.
  2. Does not notify individuals unless P2P traffic (not content) has been verified. Individuals can say that they were not in violation of the DMCA or ECPI UNIVERSITY Policy.
  3. Does not release any information to the RIAA (or any others from whom we receive DMCA complaints) without a subpoena or court order.
  4. Will pass on the "settlement letters" as a courtesy to the college member, but not as an agent of the RIAA.

Note: If an individual receives a "settlement letter", he or she may wish to seek independent legal counsel.

Legal Music, Movies and Games Online

There are a number of legal resources for enjoying music or movies online. We have compiled a list of legal file sharing sites that offer a range of free and for fee services. This list is not exhaustive, and these sites are not endorsed by ECPI University.

For More: http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent