Digital Millenium Copyright Act

October 2005 Memo Sent To All UCR Students

October 17, 2005

To All University of California Riverside Students:

As classes once again begin and your use of the campus network and the Internet increases, it is extremely important to understand the personal risks involved with illegal file sharing. Students must be aware of these risks not only because of the possibility of campus disciplinary action, but also to protect against criminal prosecution and the initiation of civil litigation by copyright holders. The initiation of legal actions by copyright holders is becoming more of a reality every day in California: on October 3rd of this year, UC Berkeley announced that three of its students are facing copyright infringement lawsuits filed by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Although trading of copyrighted music, movies, games and software over the Internet has become commonplace using file-sharing programs such as Gnutella and i2Hub, it is not legal to do so. Most material is copyrighted and obtaining or offering such material in violation of the U.S. copyright law may be punishable with civil and criminal penalties, including prison time and monetary damages. When copyright holders resort to legal actions, there is little the University can do to protect copyright infringers.

In compliance with the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the University's guidelines for compliance, UCR expeditiously takes action when notified of potential DMCA violations from computers located on the campus network. All of these incidents are referred to various campus officials and appropriate actions are taken to stop unauthorized downloading or distribution of copyrighted materials. In some cases, the university may also take disciplinary actions and/or access to the campus network may be terminated.

During the past several months, UCR has partnered with various UC campuses in an effort to provide students with new file sharing options. During the next several weeks, please watch for announcements describing these initiatives that offer students legal, high-speed access to several music and video download services.

Thank you for your attention to this very serious matter. If you have any questions about these issues or seek additional information, please visit UCR's DMCA web site at http://dmca.ucr.edu/ or contact Larry McGrath, Director Computing Support Services for Computing and Communications at Larry.McGrath@ucr.edu.

Charles Rowley
Associate Vice Chancellor
Computing and Communications
University of California, Riverside

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Tel: 951-827-4741
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E-mail: dmca@ucr.edu