Software such as Apple's iTunes Music Store, Amazon, and Napster provide legal ways of paying for and then downloading copyrighted materials such as music and movie files. Saint Mary's does not have any problem with students using these applications to purchase their favorite music and download it to their computers.

    The sharing of copyrighted music, film, or other media through file sharing programs (including, but not limited to, Frostwire, Ares, BearShare, eDonkey/eMule, Kazaa, Morpheus, etc.) withot permission violates federal copyright law. File sharing programs are not permitted on computers using the campus network (including BelleAire and ResNet). Many file sharing programs automatically turn on file sharing when the software is installed, and the software is active when the computer is on, even if it is not being used.

    Popular music, movies, games, and software are protected by copyright, and without express permission for you to freely access or distribute those materials you do not have the rights to, you could be liable for copright infringement.

    The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have been filing lawsuits against individuals who distribute copyrighted materials, such as music and movies, over the Internet. It is possible that if you use peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing software to download music, you could unknowingly be distributing copyrighted materials (such as your music and/or video collection) over the Internet. Whether you are at Saint Mary's College on ResNet or you are at home using an Internet Service Provider (ISP, such as AOL, AT&T, Comcast, Earthlink, Juno, NetZero, or Verizon), if you distribute copyrighted materials over the Internet you run the risk of having the RIAA take legal action against you and being fined up to $150,000 per copyrighted work you were distributing from your computer.

    Saint Mary's College must take appropriate action under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 if it receives notice of copyright infringement. A notice of infringement could be a notice from a record or film industry representative that a copyrighted work is being downloaded or distributed without the permission of the copyright owner. If the notice is in regard to a student, the College will immediately terminate her ResNet network access and Student Affairs will contact her for further action.

    Some peer-to-peer file sharing software programs are available for purchase (including Kazaa and Ares) but purchasing the software does not make all of their uses legal - it simply removes the advertising from the programs.

    Students visiting the ResNet Office for assistance with their personal computers that have file sharing software installed will have it removed before technical support is provided.

    For more information, please refer to the Policy on the Responsible Use of College Computers and the Internet @ Saint Mary's College.

Last Modified July 28, 2011