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Copyright Resources at Connecticut College: Piracy and Illegal Downloading

This guide provides a general overview of copyright, and policies and procedures specific to Connecticut College.

Piracy and Illegal Downloading

As stated in the College's Appropriate Use Policy for Computer and Information Resources, the college's data network may not be used to violate copyright laws.

What's more, it is a federal crime to distribute or download copyrighted music, movies or software from the Internet from the copyright owner. Use of the College network to engage in such activitiy places Connecticut College at legal and financial risk. Per the College's policy on student infringement of media copyright, as well as a similar policy for employees, violators may lose network access and/or be subject to disciplinary action. 

A few other points to keep in mind:

  • You are not anonymous when you use a file sharing system; copyright agents deploy technological tools that can and will easily identify you.
  • Peer-to-peer file sharing programs (such as BitTorrent) can introduce viruses, malware and security risks to your personal information and equipment, and to the College network.
    • The College respects network users' privacy and does not routinely search user files. However, the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requires the College to identify copyright violators when subpoenaed.
  • Network users are subject to copyright laws, other state and federal laws, and College policies and regulations, as outlined in the Appropriate Use Policy.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing software are a means of distributing content without the need to use bandwidth on a home server. In the case of content that isn't copyrightable, or when one owns the copyright to the content being shared, P2P can be a very helpful means of widely sharing resources. However, all too often this software is used to share copyrighted content illegally — including moves, TV shows, music and games/software. Not only are such practices illegal, they can also introduce malware or viruses onto the receiving networks. Prior to using P2P software or services, therefore, it's really important to know the facts — what's allowed and what isn't. Please refer to the links below for more information.

There are numerous legal sources for online music, movies, software and other intellectual property. Connecticut College community members are encouraged to explore and use resources listed below to maintain compliance with College policies and the law. Do note that individuals are responsible for reading and understanding service agreements and for complying with the law.