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Copyright and You

What you do on the campus network can be traced back to you, individually. Be smart about what you choose to download or share when using UC Davis network resources.

Campus policy requires us to keep logs of when and where computers connect to wireless and wired networks. That includes logging who is using the computer.

The recording, movie, and software industries can detect illegal downloads of copyrighted materials.

And, for good or ill, they have the force of US law on their side via laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) [1].

Even "untraceable" protocols like BitTorrent [2] are, in fact, traceable.

When copyright holders detect an illegal download from any UCD networks, they send a DMCA complaint to the campus. The campus then investigates every complaint to tie it back to an individual.

The campus will disclose your name if the investigation shows that the download was illegal. Further, the campus will not defend you because that would jeopardize the our "safe harbor" standing under the DMCA [3].

We recommend that you do not use the campus network to download illegal copies of copyrighted materials, including music, movies, and software.

Links and Additional Information

[1] https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/html/cem/cem99/cem9913.html

[2] Most people who download peer-to-peer file sharing software (BitTorrent is the most popular) to their computers do it for the purpose of obtaining copyrighted content illegally.  They don’t realize that the software defaults to running in the background any time the computer is connected to the Internet.  This means that anytime a computer with the software is connected to the Internet (all the time here) anyone in Timbuktu running the same peer-to-peer can ask for a file and have it dished up without the source computer operator even knowing it.  The risk is not while downloading material – it’s anytime the computer is connected to the Internet.  BitTorrent is particularly challenging in that it provides a good way to move large data files around legally so is very useful, but having it on a computer for that purpose opens up everything in the computer’s shared folders for illegal file-sharing whenever the computer is on a network.  University network users with BitTorrent on their computers need to be meticulous in ensuring that all files on the computer are legal and none of interest are in the Shared Folders.

[3] http://manuals.ucdavis.edu/ppm/250/250-05.pdf