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Memorandum

 
To: Temple University Network/Internet Users
From: Timothy O'Rourke,
Vice President of Computer and Financial Services and CIO
Subject: Policy Reminder on Copyright Violations
Date: August 20, 2010

Dear Temple University Network/Internet Users:

I am writing this letter to remind you of our policy regarding the use of Temple University's computer network to illegally download or share copyrighted materials, including music, games, and videos.

Our policy is simple: this activity is strictly prohibited. Here's why:

  1. It is illegal. Both the U.S. Copyright Act, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, prohibit the distribution or sharing of copyrighted works without the copyright owner's permission.
     
  2. It is dangerous. The "peer-to-peer" software that is used for file sharing may bypass your computer's operating system security and open your entire computer, along with your personal information, to anyone on the Internet. Programs such as Kazaa, BearShare, Limewire, Bit Torrent, and others may affect your computer's performance and can cause system crashes or loss of your data.
     
  3. It degrades our network performance. Because it is the nature of these programs to share your files with as many computers as possible, the resulting volume of network traffic can slow down or disable our entire network.
     
  4. Finally, it is just wrong. Artists, writers, musicians, and other creators of intellectual property rely upon copyright to protect their works. Without copyright, there would be no way to protect their income and no incentive to make their works available to us through books, music CDs, videos, etc. When you violate copyright by downloading and sharing these works, you are depriving the artist of real income, and clearly that is wrong.

I'm sure you are aware that the music and motion picture industries are taking these offenses very seriously. Hundreds of students who shared files of copyrighted materials have been the targets of expensive lawsuits for copyright infringement. You may not be aware that as providers of your Internet service, Temple University is required to divulge your name and address to the authorities if a complaint is received about your illegal file-sharing activities. I want to be clear that Temple University will obey all laws and will honor all legitimate warrants, subpoenas, and court orders.

Temple University is proud of its computer network and resources. They exist to support a wide variety of instruction, research, and administrative activities. As a Temple student, you are also a member of this community and, like everyone else, you must follow the official policies that govern computer and network usage. The Temple University Technology Usage Policy (04.71.11) clearly prohibits the use of the University's computer resources to violate copyright law. You may review this policy online at: http://policies.temple.edu

As you can see, we consider the use of Temple's computer resources to violate the law a serious matter. We are doing everything we can to discourage this activity. Some of the actions that we have already taken include:

  • implementing special filters to block the illegal sharing of files across our network,
     
  • using network tools to detect this activity and to identify violators, and
     
  • installing an aggressive antivirus system to raise overall network efficiency and to provide a safe computing environment.

In addition, we have a comprehensive plan to enforce a policy of zero tolerance for violators. If you are illegally downloading or sharing copyrighted material across Temple's network, I urge you to immediately remove these materials and file-sharing software from your computer. If you need help removing these files, I have authorized the Computer Services Help Desk (1-8000 or 215-204-8000) to assist you.

If your computer contains illegal files or file-sharing software, the Computer Services Help Desk or consultants will no longer provide you with support services of any kind. If your computer is detected engaging in illegal file sharing, your connection to the Temple network will be immediately terminated. Before your connection can be restored, you will be required to read and sign an agreement stating that you have removed the offending files and software from your computer, and that you will no longer engage in the illegal downloading and sharing of copyrighted material.

Repeat offenders will be permanently removed from the network, and will be referred to the University Disciplinary Committee for further disposition. If appropriate, you may also be reported to the police or other government officials.

Our mission is to provide our students with a safe and powerful computing environment. We continue to encourage students to fully participate in the Internet experience and in the free exercise of individual rights and academic freedoms. At the same time, we cannot permit our computer resources to be used for illegal purposes. It is our intention to strictly enforce University policy and we will obey and comply with all legitimate government laws and regulations.

Finally, please realize that there are legal alternatives to unauthorized downloading. For a list of legitimate download sites, please go to:

http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent

Sincerely,
Timothy O'Rourke
Vice President of Computer and Financial Services and CIO