Annual Copyright Compliance Message to Students
The following message was sent to the U-M student body on September 24, 2012:
It is important in a creative, academic community such as ours to uphold the legal rights of copyright holders. Federal law requires that we send an annual message to all students to help you avoid potential legal problems related to infringing on the digital copyrights of others.
These problems most often arise through the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing technology. Using P2P technology is not in itself illegal, but what you share and how you share it may be. When you make copies of copyrighted works available or when you acquire unauthorized copies of copyrighted works, you may be infringing on someone else's rights.
If you are infringing – even unwittingly – you can be subject to civil damages of between $750 and $150,000 per infringement and even criminal fines of up to $250,000 and jail time. You also might be violating university policies:
Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities
Proper Use of Information Resources
University Housing Computing Conditions of Use
Some P2P systems even hide the fact that you are uploading. We advise you to educate yourself about the appropriate use of P2P technologies and to refrain from unlawful uses.
For more specifics, including steps you can take to avoid illegal file sharing and links to resources for legal options for downloading digital media, visit www.safecomputing.umich.edu/copyright.
E. Royster Harper
Laura M. Patterson
Last modified: January 17 2013.