Integrated Information Technology Services

Copyright and Peer-to-Peer File Sharing


Utica University prohibits any unauthorized copying, distributing, altering, use, or translating of copyrighted materials, software, motion pictures, music, or other media by users of the University’s computing networks without the express written permission of the copyright holder. Any illegal peer-to-peer file sharing using the University’s network is prohibited. IITS may monitor patterns of Internet traffic over the University’s computing network not only to ensure efficient and effective operations but also to ensure against misuse of Internet access or to detect possible problems.

Use of any peer-to-peer applications, Web sites, or other means of downloading of movies, music, or other copyrighted material by faculty, staff, or students is prohibited on any computer connected to the University’s network unless approved in advance by the Assistant Vice President for Library and Information Technology Services.


This policy is applicable to all members of the Utica University community, including faculty, staff, and students, as well as any guests using the University’s network or University-owned computers.


Utica University is committed to preventing the use of University resources for the improper use, infringement, and distribution of copyrighted materials while at the same time not unduly interfering with the appropriate educational and research use of such resources. Utica University is also committed to educating members of the University community concerning the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing.

This policy is also designed to protect the University’s core business functions and the systems and software that operate those functions, since even legal uses of peer-to-peer applications may clog network bandwidth, compromise confidential files, conflict with University software, cause system crashes, and spread network-wide viruses.

Furthermore, this policy is designed to ensure compliance with federal and state laws, including the U.S. Copyright Law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. In addition to sanctions enforced by the University, copyright violators may be subject to criminal and civil charges under state and federal law, and may be sued by the copyright holder.


Illegal Peer-to-Peer File Sharing: Providing and/or receiving digital files using a network, where the files are stored on and served by personal computers of the users, without paying for use of the file or receiving permission from the copyright holder for the use of the file. While there are legitimate applications of file sharing software and networks, file sharing is usually illegal when the user downloads or uploads a file without the consent of the copyright owner of the music or other content in the file.


In order to protect the University’s core business functions, and the systems and software that operate those core business functions, IITS will regularly monitor traffic to and from all file servers and to all data repositories housing these records. Said monitoring shall be done in accordance with Utica University’s computer use policies.

The University will take disciplinary action if faculty, staff, or students engage in illegal file sharing as follows:
  • Students: When a violation occurs, Integrated Information Technology Services staff members will make repeated efforts to contact the student. For a first offense, students will face immediate but temporary loss of campus data network privileges on their computer. They must make arrangements within three days of notification to schedule a mandatory conference with the University’s Information Security Officer and attend mandatory training on copyright law. On a second offense, students will face temporary or permanent loss of campus data network privileges and the case will be referred to the Office of Student Affairs for adjudication as a violation of Utica University policy. If a violation is confirmed, the student will be charged a Network Reconnection Fee. Additional violations will result in increasingly larger reconnection fees. To avoid this consequence, students must respond to notices and/or requests to meet with the University’s Information Security Officer.
  • University Employees: Violations of University policies and procedures will be considered under the University’s established disciplinary practices and procedures for employees and may carry disciplinary consequences, up to and including dismissal from employment. Such violations may also subject individuals to civil or criminal actions in state or federal courts. For more information, refer to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Utica University and the AAUP-UC and/or the Utica University Employee Code of Conduct.


It is the responsibility of the Assistant Vice President for Library and Information Technology Services to develop and manage a plan to address and prevent unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing and to implement this policy and all requirements to send notices to members of the Utica University community pursuant to the plan and in order to comply with the mandates of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.


Enforcement of Utica University policies is the responsibility of the office or offices listed in the “Resources/Questions” section of each policy. The responsible office will contact the appropriate authority regarding faculty or staff members, students, vendors, or visitors who violate policies.

Utica University acknowledges that University policies may not anticipate every possible issue that may arise. The University therefore reserves the right to make reasonable and relevant decisions regarding the enforcement of this policy. All such decisions must be approved by an officer of the University (i.e. president, vice president for academic affairs, or vice president for financial affairs).


For information regarding student compliance with this policy, contact the Office of Student Affairs. For information regarding employee compliance, contact the Office of Human Resources.

In addition, information about H. R. 4137, the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) (Public Law 110-315) can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea08/index.html  

Information on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be found at http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf 

The U.S. Copyright Law can be found at: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/.

For more information, see the Utica University Employee Code of Conduct, the Employee Handbook, and/or the Student Handbook.

Please note that other Utica University policies may apply or be related to this policy. To search for related policies, use the Keyword Search function of the online policy manual.
Effective Date: 04/28/2010
Promulgation Date: 07/01/2010

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