Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Music and Movie Download Policy

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Your responsibilities at Franklin & Marshall College with respect to copyright law:

COPYRIGHT LAW: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material regardless of the format of that material. Copyright law is complicated and its interpretation is sometimes controversial. The College has prepared a comprehensive guide* to copyright in an effort to help us all better understand what is allowable by law, and why some services that have been provided in the past may now be restricted.  A summary can be found here
*the full text of the Handbook on Copyright Policy is available on eDisk in the "Office of the Provost" public folder

PEER-TO-PEER PROGRAMS (P2P): As of September 1, 2007, we no longer allow P2P traffic on the network. Let me explain the reasons for this policy.
Franklin & Marshall invests significant resources to provide a robust, redundant and secure network infrastructure to allow students, faculty and professional staff to connect to resources and servers on campus and across the internet to support and enhance their academic and administrative collaborations. We provide this access, and the associated computing resources, in full compliance with all local, state and federal laws that pertain to copyright, security and intellectual property (see Responsible Computing at Franklin & Marshall).

For a number of years we have used network tools to limit the type of traffic that is allowed on the network. For example, we only allowed 5% of the capacity of the network to be used for P2P traffic. In spite of this restriction, we continued to see P2P traffic on the network and the overwhelming percentage of this traffic appeared to be music and video file sharing. We sent out annual messages about the dangers of sharing such files illegally and in spring 2007 you may remember a warning letter Dean Taber and I sent about new more aggressive tactics being adopted by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to curtail illegal file sharing of copyrighted materials.

Unfortunately, we continued to receive numerous copyright infringement claims from the RIAA and others that took considerable staff time to comply with and, in the end, individuals identified were still held responsible for their behavior and remained at-risk of a lawsuit and loss of network privileges. In fact, in summer 2007 we received eleven pre-settlement letters from the RIAAs counsel that outlined the minimum penalty of $750 per infringement (most had hundreds of songs identified) unless the claims are settled.

Therefore, for above cited reasons and the difficulty identifying any legitimate use of P2P file sharing that was directly related to the academic mission of the College, we began to block all P2P traffic as of September 1, 2007. Please note the decision to block P2P does NOT effect instant messaging, iChat, iTunes or Skype traffic, as each will continue to be allowed on the network. Further, there will be an appeal mechanism in place if you feel you have a legitimate need to use P2P file sharing programs in order to complete your academic responsibilities or successfully do your job at the College. Please contact me directly at 717-291-4073 or to discuss your situation.  For information on how to legally download music from the Internet, click on this link

THE DIGITAL MILLENIUM COPYRIGHT ACT (DMCA): The DMCA specifies procedures that Franklin & Marshall must follow when notified an individual using our network is violating copyright laws. If the copyright holder contacts Franklin & Marshall's DMCA Agent  about a violation we will stop network access for the individual, notify him/her of the notice we have received, and require removal of the offending material from his/her computer. The individual has the right to claim that the material is not protected by copyright and then a legal process begins. To date, every notice we have received has resulted in the offending material being removed.

PROTECTING YOURSELF: Because of functionality built into file-sharing software resident on your computer, your audio and video files may be available for uploading over the Internet without your knowledge or permission. The SHARING pane enables a Mac to be accessed from other Macs on a network via File Sharing, and other computers on the Internet via FTP and the Web. We recommend that you leave the SHARING features set to the default, which is off. Information Technology Services provides further information on how to turn off this functionality and tips on responsible computing.     For more Information and tips, click here.