Using Copyrighted Materials Policy
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, downloading and/or sharing of copyrighted material without permission of the copyright holder is illegal. The DMCA requires that Internet Service Providers such as WWU take steps to expeditiously remove or disable access to any copyrighted material being shared illegally from within its network.
WWU Responsible Computing policy states: “All users of the computing systems are to respect the rights of other computing users, respect the integrity of the physical facilities and controls, and respect all pertinent copyright, license, and contractual agreements.”
File sharing on campus
File sharing programs aggressively use large quantities of available bandwidth, which can cause slowdowns for others who use the network.
Copyright violations on campus
The University does not monitor the content of your online activities. However, there are companies and organizations (like the Recording Industry Association of America, Warner Bros., Paramount, NBC, HBO, etc.) that locate people who are downloading or distributing copyrighted materials.
Copyright violation is a serious crime, and you should research copyright law if you want to know the possible legal consequences.
ResTek’s policy upon notification of a copyright infringement is:
- Your Internet connection is disabled.
- You will be notified via MyWestern email of the violation.
- The incident is entered into the housing conduct system.
- You will meet with your Resident Director to discuss the issue and appropriate sanctions.
The University’s policy upon notification of a copyright infringement is:
- You will be contacted to make you aware of the alleged violation.
- You will need to remove the infringed work(s).
- You will receive education regarding copyright violations (sometimes in-person, sometimes via email or phone).
- You may be required to meet with the University judicial officer, which may result in other ramifications.
- You may have your computer accounts disabled for a period of time.
- The copyright holder may pursue civil actions resulting in large fines.
Subsequent violations will result in more serious penalties.
File sharing alternatives
There are many good sites available for downloading music, movies, and TV shows; some for free and some that charge. Students who would like to pursue a free solution for home use can consider the following programs. These programs are just a few of the options available for students to consider - the University neither endorses nor supports them.
- Last.FM The premier source for free music. Over 111,000 free mp3’s.
- Freeplay Music
- Garageband “Discovering the best independent music.” Offers lots of free downloads.
- Internet.org Live Music Archive Many artists allow their live shows to be freely downloaded and shared. The Grateful Dead are famous for it.
- Internet.org Moving Image Archive This library contains thousands of digital movies which range from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to videos of every genre uploaded by Archive users.
- Internet.org Text Archive Provides links to thousands of classic books and other texts. A host of the famous Project Gutenberg, one of the most ambitious projects to store books which are no longer covered by copyright.
- MTV.com Free music downloads.
- Shoutcast A directory of free Internet radio stations.
- Amazon MP3 Pay per track or album.
- Amazon Unbox Rent or buy thousands of movies and TV shows.
- iTunes Apple’s pay-per-download music service.
- Rhapsody A digital music service that lets you listen to whatever you want, whenever you want it. With online music stores, you pay for every track or album, but Rhapsody lets you listen to everything we’ve got for one low monthly price.
- WalMart Music Pay per track or album.