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Don't be a Pirate!

Don't be a Pirate!

Many students rely on the internet to deliver downloadable music, movies, and television.  With this rise in internet traffic and downloadable files, content producers are faced with the problem of increasing internet piracy.   In order to protect their content, copyright holders police the internet, searching for unauthorized distribution of their work on websites like YouTube or peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent.  When infringement is (allegedly) discovered, formal complaints are issued to network operators.  

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) was signed into law on August 14, 2008, and all colleges and universities are required to make a good-faith effort at compliance.  "This legislation imposes an array of new federal regulatory and reporting requirements for colleges and universities.  Two of these provisions are designed to reduce illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing on campus networks". 

"The law requires institutions to make an annual disclosure that informs students that the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials may subject them to criminal and civil penalties and describes the steps that institutions will take to detect and punish illegal distribution of copyrighted materials. Many institutions already provide such information to students", EKU’s policy can be found at Code of Ethics for Computing and Communications.  "Institutions are required to certify to the Secretary of Education that they have developed plans to “effectively combat” the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.  Also, “to the extent practicable,” institutions are required to offer alternatives to illegal file sharing".

What does this mean?  It means that when EKU’s ITDS receives a notification from content producers about downloading and file sharing, EKU has a responsibility to act.  Students are notified electronically by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards to discuss the alleged violation.  

Check out this list of legal alternatives for downloading

Sources for this information can be found at:


EKU Smart Computing

Published on November 16, 2012

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