reminder of University policy on sharing copyrighted materials- increase in notifications

It appears the RIAA is about to come after students at SCU. It amazes me that they (RIAA) don’t more heavily promote the music rental services like Rhapsody, Yahoo! Music, and the new Napster. Instead they make rental more costly by forcing additional charges to upload songs to MP3 players (notice the payment structure for the three services) and in general make it more difficult for everyone.

“Dear Students:

I am writing to remind you about Santa Clara’s policy regarding sharing of copyrighted materials such as music, videos, and software – such sharing is illegal, in violation of the University’s Network and Communications policy (http://it.scu.edu/policies/NetPolicy.shtml), can lead to disciplinary action by the University, and can place you at risk of financial and criminal sanctions.

More than 20,000 people have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for illegally sharing copyrighted music.

The potential financial exposure is up to $150,000 per song, video, or program obtained or shared in violation of copyright. Santa Clara is required to comply if it receives a subpoena requesting identification of someone suspected of such sharing via University computer networks.

Recently, RIAA has announced that they will be targeting university students with 400 monthly *offers to settle* in advance of suits.

This reminder is motivated by a dramatic increase in notifications of potentially illegal file sharing received by the University. This academic year we have already received nearly three times the number of notifications received all of last year, including eight in the past 24 hours. At some other institutions such a surge has preceded receipt of subpoenas.

Regardless of your personal view of the ethics related to file sharing of copyrighted materials, it is an illegal activity, one with potentially serious criminal and financial risks, and possible repercussions for your relationship with the University. Please be aware of these possibilities and conduct yourself accordingly.

I*d be happy to discuss file sharing, or other technology issues, at any time: [email], or [phone#].

Ron Danielson
Vice Provost and CIO”