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Guidelines for Copyright

1  Overview

The distribution of copyright protected files (whether officially copyrighted or not) without the permission of the owner is illegal and violation of the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and general University policy. Tulane University prohibits the distribution of materials owned by anyone other than the person engaged in such distribution without the permission of the owner. Students, faculty, staff and all other affiliates who infringe copyright regulations may be subject to disciplinary action through standard University procedures or may also face civil suit or criminal charges. As stated in the AUP, such individuals or group of individuals shall be solely responsible for their defense and any resulting liability. The guidelines on copyright provided in this document are defined by the Information Security Office to serve as a guide and are not exhaustive. The AUP remains the primary document for all acceptable use of Tulane University network and computing resources. Please contact the Information Security Officer ( if you require more information.

2  Guidelines

Follow the following preventive measures when accessing copyright protected material:

Assume that you do not have permission to download or distribute a file unless you have proof to the contrary. Ensure any installed file sharing program is only sharing for which you have explicit sharing permission from the copyright holders. Confirm that the distributor of a file you are interested in downloading has permission from the copyright holder to distribute it.

3  DMCA Compliance

In recent months, Tulane University has received numerous notifications from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) regarding the illegal distribution of copyright materials, specifically music and video content.  The proliferation of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) applications has made this content easy to distribute, yet difficult to block on the Tulane University network. Note that Tulane University as your Internet Service Provider (ISP) might be compelled by law, in certain circumstances, if requested by representatives of copyright holders, to provide information about individual users who appear to be illegally distributing copyrighted materials on the Tulane University network.

In an effort to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Tulane Technology Services will upgrade the CopySense Appliance to more effectively detect the unauthorized distribution of copyright material.  The new CopySense Appliance is configured to redirect users to a Graduated Response website when they exceed a sanction level of inappropriate network usage, and are required to accept a compliance agreement to no longer illegally distribute/download copyright material.

 3.1  Violations of DMCA or HEOA

The following are the response levels for violations of DMCA or HEOA:

  • First offense:  violator's internet access will be disabled for 15 minutes
  • Second offense:  violator's internet access will be disabled for 3 hours
  • Third offense:  violator internet access will be disabled until the Office of Student Conduct can contact the violator