Copyright and You (DMCA)

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 likely will not defend you because that would jeopardize 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


[2] Many people who download peer-to-peer file sharing software suck as BitTorrent to their computers do so 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, other users of the same peer-to-peer network can ask for a file without the source computer operator even knowing.  The risk is not only while downloading material – it’s also any time the computer is connected to the Internet.

[3], Section III.A