An open letter to students and employees of the University:
I am writing to remind you that the distribution of copyright material you do not own and distribution of copyright material over the lnternet are potential violations of both criminal and civil federal law, as well as UIW policy. With recent actions by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to target and prosecute individual users who appear to be violating copyright laws, it’s important that you know the ‘rules” and understand the potential consequences if you choose to break them.
Copyright material can include movies, television shows, music, games or software. Some software programs, like Bit Torrent, “distribute” such material automatically when outbound functions are on and your computer is hooked up to the Internet. Therefore, even if you have legally purchased a copy of material, for example on CD or DVD, loaded it on your computer and run one of these systems, you may be in violation of law for “distributing” it out to the lnternet. The RlAA has begun targeting individual users through the issuance of “settlement letters”. These letters are sent to the campus lnternet Service Providers (ISP) with lnternet Protocol addresses of alleged offenders. The settlement letters request that the ISP forward the letters to users whom they allege have infringed upon RlAA copyrights.
In addition to these “settlement letters,” the RlAA has also sent a number of “preservation notices” to colleges and universities, requesting that the ISP preserve contact information for persons associated with an lnternet Protocol address they allege is being used to violate their copyrights.
As your main campus ISP, UIW will treat RlAA “settlement letters” and “preservation notices” in the following manner:
Copyright is a national issue as well as a concern for employees who enjoy entertainment protected by intellectual property legislation. If you wish to learn more about the
DMCA and these important issues, please refer to: http://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp
If you have specific questions about this letter, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
April 4, 2007