Illegally downloading or “sharing” of copyrighted digital media, such as music, film and software is a violation of Liberty University’s Information Technology Copyright Compliance and of U.S. Copyright law.
The University can suspend computing privileges or issue other disciplinary action against the student. In addition, infringements can lead to costly fines, and/or imprisonment. Federal copyright law entitles the copyright holders to seek statutory damages of $150,000 for each act of willful infringement (for example, each song or movie illegally copied or distributed). A felony charge could result in an additional $250,000 fine and 3 years imprisonment.
The majority of current subpoena actions and lawsuits on peer-to-peer (P2P) users are filed by large content companies that are members of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).
The University is required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to respond to allegations of infringing activity received from copyright owners. This process starts with an internal University investigation to determine the claim or subpoena's validity. If the claim is valid, the University may require the user to remove infringing materials, or take other actions as deemed necessary to comply with the DMCA. If the University receives a valid and lawfully issued subpoena, it must, when known, divulge the user's identity to the copyright holder.
The University does permit the use of P2P software for legitimate purposes. The courts have ruled that they also have significant non-infringing uses that make them legal technologies. The creator of BitTorrent, an open source P2P application, designed his software to distribute large and legitimate files, such as free and open source software. However, the majority of P2P users continue to distribute copyrighted materials without authorization from the copyright holders.
Such activity limits the University's network bandwidth available for teaching, learning, research, and communication. It also may destabilize the University network by spreading viruses and spyware, and installing backdoors that allow unauthorized users access to the University desktops and network resources.
Define the Line (Software piracy).
MusicUnited (Music piracy).
“Copyright Compliance,” Information Technology, Liberty University.