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ITS Resnet

Information & Technology Services Residential Networking

Copyright Infringement - Piracy

What is a DMCA Notice?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1996 is a copyright law that protects copyright holders intellectual property on the internet. This act allows copyright holders to request copyrighted data to be removed from websites and charge individuals for illegal distribution of copyrighted property. 

RIT has received a significant number of copyright infringement complaints in the last several years. These notices come from companies that search the Internet on behalf of copyright holders such as the recording, movie and software industries. The notifications identify an RIT IP (Internet Protocol) address that is, without permission of the copyright holder, sharing a specific file or files on the Internet. In order to avail itself of protection provided to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, RIT must act to ensure these infringed works are no longer being shared.

Peer-to-peer file-sharing applications on campus are typically involved. These applications include KaZaA, Gnutella, Bit Torrent, Direct Connect, and Limewire. These applications are used to exchange music, movies, videos, and other electronic data. The use of these applications turns a computer into a server, providing download access to users elsewhere on the Internet. Violations of U.S. Copyright Law, and at RIT, a violation of the RIT Code of Conduct for Computer and Network Use (http://www.rit.edu/computerconduct/) occurs when copyrighted files are shared. Violations of U.S. Copyright Law can result in fines of $500,000 per infringing work and prison sentences. RIT students have been subject to legal action under the provisions of U.S. Copyright Law. File-sharing applications can also consume a massive amount of RIT's network resources. Given the technology expectations of the RIT students, faculty, and staff, high quality Internet access is vital. RIT takes copyright infringement very seriously.

How do I prevent a DMCA Notice?

The best way is to remove any peer to peer network sharing programs from your computer before accessing the RIT Network. Our staff will be able to assist anyone with removal of these type of programs. Students should use trusted online media streaming websites such as Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Spotify, Apple iTunes, Youtube, Grooveshark, and Amazon to view copyrighted materials. Most of these websites use ads to cover the cost of hosting and copyright royalties. 

Who tracks DMCA activity?

Copyright holders monitor peer to peer networks (i.e.. BitTorrent) and websites for their copyrighted information. Like other colleges and universities, RIT has a public IP address range (129.21.X.X)  that are given out to access the RIT network. Copyright holders monitor these IP address ranges heavily for abuse.   RIT ITS keeps a records of when users accessed the network and will match the IP address to the end user. In compliance with the DMCA act of 1996, RIT reports this information to the copyright holder when abuse is reported. 

How do I know if I get a DMCA notice?

Your computer account will be disabled by ITS and you will not be able to access the RIT network. When you are connected to a wired connection, you will automatically be directed to https://start.rit.edu/Copyright.  If you are connected to RITWPA or RITWPA2 wireless networks, you will not be able to sign in and will need to connect to the wireless network "rit" to receive the redirect to https://start.rit.edu/Copyright. Once on this page you will be directed to follow a set of instructions to renew your computer account. 

How do I re-enable my  RIT computer account?

For the first offense, Users will have to follow to re-enable process on https://start.rit.edu/Copyright. Copyright holders may request that compensation be paid for downloading their copyrighted content. If this is the case, you will receive an email from the copyright holder to your RIT computer account. The RIT ITS Service Desk and ITS Resnet does not provided legal advice with Copyrighted infringement cases. Members of the RIT community should seek outside legal advice on how to handle the Copyright Infringement notice and requested compensation for pirating copyrighted material. Students who receives a DMCA notice can stop by Resnet for verification and for assistance removing peer to peer sharing clients. 

Any additional copyright offenses may be turned over to RIT Student Conduct or Public Safety.