A first-year student was referred to Student Judicial Affairs) for violating the university’s Acceptable Use Policy that requires compliance with federal copyright laws, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). DMCA violations occur when copyrighted material has been shared, either uploaded or downloaded, through a campus network connection registered in a student’s name using a peer-to-peer file sharing program. The student received an Administrative Notice, which is an official notification of campus rules, and the suspension of his network privileges for two weeks. Additionally, the copyright holder of the shared material has the right to pursue a civil lawsuit against the student for copyright infringement. If a student were charged by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for violations of the DMCA, the university would not release the student’s identity unless they were subpoenaed, in which case the university is required by law to provide the student’s identity.
A senior was referred to SJA for violating the university’s Acceptable Use Policy by using a peer-to-peer file sharing program to make copyrighted material available to others, as well as downloading the material for personal use. This was the second notice that the student received regarding violations of the policy pertaining to the DMCA. The first notice explained that any subsequent violations would result in termination of campus network privileges. Since this was the second violation, the student’s Internet access privileges through the UC Davis network were immediately and permanently terminated to assure that the university is not directly liable for further infringements. The student is still allowed to use the campus Internet through the computers in the library or computer labs.
Statistics regarding acceptable use
So far this academic school year, 89 students have received first notices regarding violations of the Acceptable Use policy (specifically DMCA-type violations). All of these students received Administrative Notices and a temporary suspension of their network access. There have also been nine second notices, which have resulted in permanent loss of network access and/or additional disciplinary sanctions. A significant number of these notices are issued because students set up a wireless router registered in their name at their apartment or house without password-protection. The student is then responsible for anyone who uses the Internet connection provided by the router.
Campus Judicial Reports are compiled by members of the Student Judicial Affairs. Additional information about SJA and the Campus Judicial Board may be found at sja.ucdavis.edu.