PROTECTION OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS
RESTRICTIONS UPON PEER-TO-PEER FILE SHARING
Five Towns College strongly supports and encourages the advancement of artistic and intellectual work. It therefore views the protection of all copyrighted materials as essential. The College will not tolerate unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials by any individual associated with the College, no matter what the means of distribution. The College’s computer network, Internet services, copiers, scanners, and other equipment are expressly prohibited from being used for either the copying and/or dissemination of copyrighted materials. Use of these electronic and non-electronic devices must be considered a privilege, not a right, of anyone associated with Five Towns College. Anyone violating copyright laws may be subject to disciplinary action as well as appropriate civil and criminal prosecution and penalties.
It is essential to understand the basics of American copyright laws. According to United States Copyright Law, Title 17, U.S. Code [http://www.copyright.gov/title17/], the reproduction of copyrighted materials is prohibited. Copyrighted materials include, but are not limited to, such resources as books, periodical publications, music (in all formats), filmed materials, and printed music.
The Fair Use Doctrine (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107) outlines circumstances under which individuals are permitted to use copyrighted materials without obtaining the permission of the copyright holder. According to the doctrine, “the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies...for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.” Several factors should be considered before fair use is determined, including how much of a work is being used, what purpose is being served by the use, the nature of the copyrighted material, and how the use affects the potential market or actual value of the copyrighted material. The lines between fair use and copyright infringement are often unclear and court decisions have not always been consistent, so students should avoid the copying or distribution of copyrighted materials whenever possible. If copyrighted material is cited or paraphrased by a student, that material must be properly referenced. Students should also be aware that the Internet is not in the public domain and that much of what is posted on it is in fact copyrighted. Works need not explicitly state that they are copyrighted in order to be so. The United States Copyright Office further elaborates on the legal definition of fair use in the FL-102 Fact Sheet [http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html].
Any student suspected of knowingly or unknowingly violating United States Copyright Law will be subject to an investigation by the College. If the College believes a student has violated the Copyright Law, the investigation will then be handed over to the appropriate legal authorities. The College reserves the right to terminate network access and/or permanently dismiss, without monetary reimbursement, any student found guilty of such legal violations. The College also reserves the right to institute any and all additional actions it deems necessary to enforce existing copyright laws and regulations. In the event that legal action is taken against Five Towns College because of a student’s use of the College’s network or technology for the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials, the College may attempt to seek financial restitution from the student or take other actions it deems appropriate to maintain its reputation.
As the popularity of peer-to-peer file sharing (uploading and downloading) of copyrighted materials has increased worldwide, it has become necessary for Five Towns College to place restrictions on the use of its network. Students are therefore prohibited from using the College’s computer network and equipment for the distribution of any and all copyrighted materials, including the following resources:
● Audio Books
● Printed Copyrighted Materials
It is the sole responsibility of the student to ensure that his or her actions — and the actions of anyone using his or her network connection, IP address, or login information — comply with both New York State and federal laws and regulations concerning copyrighted materials. Students should have no expectation of privacy or confidentiality in their use of the College’s computer network. Because the College provides students with the use of its computer network as a privilege and is held accountable for its network, College officials have the legal right to monitor network activity and take appropriate actions towards those who misuse or abuse their network access. It is very important for those affiliated with the College to understand that certain materials available on the Internet are inherently inappropriate for educational purposes or illegal to access. The College expects its students to refrain from accessing such Internet materials.
Finally all enrolled students are obliged to sign a “Computer Laboratory and Internet Policy Statement” that states a student’s adherence to the “Acceptable Use,” “Privileged Use,” “Network Etiquette,” “Warranties,” “Security,” “Vandalism,” and “Ambassador” terms and conditions of the electronic technologies offered at Five Towns College. No excuses from enrolled students will be accepted for lack of compliance with these terms and conditions of computer laboratory, network and Internet usage.