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IT Services, Information Technology Services


Copyright Policy

University of Colorado Denver

Office of Information Technology Procedure

Illegal Filesharing and Copyright Violations

December, 2013


Although the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus Information Technology Services Department does not actively scan or monitor the campus network for copyright violations, individuals using university computing resources should be aware that such acts may result in suspension or removal of computer access, expulsion, corrective and/or disciplinary action, as well as civil and/or criminal penalties.  This document outlines the university's plan for curtailing these activities as required by the 2008 Higher Education Act.

Computing Policy

In addition to being a violation of federal law, use of filesharing software to illegally obtain copyrighted material is a violation of the university acceptable use computing policy. Faculty, staff or students who violate the policy will be referred to the appropriate administrative and/or review authority for further action.  IT Services will only take action against an individual upon repeat violations of the policy as outlined in the procedures below.

1.  Notification and Investigation

The CU System Legal Office serves as the single point of contact for copyright violation allegations.  Concerns over a potential violation are sent to  Upon the university having been forwarded a complaint from CU System that a university computer may have illegally obtained copyright material, IT Services will investigate the allegation and attempt to determine the identity of the user of the computer.  Once the user has been identified, a formal notification containing all allegation and identifiable information will be forwarded to the appropriate official(s) for appropriate policy violation action as follows:

            Students: Dean of Students and/or Student Review Board

            Faculty/Staff: Department Administrator and/or Chair

The official(s) will need to provide a response that outlines the action taken in response to the allegation.  Office of Information Technology (OIT) will document the investigation and outcome in order to monitor for repeat violators.

2.  Second Violation

Individuals who have been found in violation of policy a second time shall immediately have their computer disconnected from the university network.  In order to restore network access, the individual who violated the policy must provide a written response to IT Services and the appropriate official(s) that they understand the extent of legal risk that the activity poses to the university and agree to abide by policy in the future.  This action does not preclude the appropriate official(s) from using other appropriate management techniques and/or sanctions such as the HR performance management planning process to curtail further violations.

3.  Third Violation

Individuals who violate policy a third time shall immediately have their computer disconnected from the univ ersity network.  Such revocation of privileges is considered permanent unless restoration is petitioned by the appropriate official(s).  The petition will be reviewed and decided by the Office of Regulatory Compliance.

Communication and Awareness

The university utilizes a number of mediums to convey requirements that all faculty, staff and students abide by Acceptable Use Policy and promote awareness of the potential sanctions for obtaining copyrighted materials illegally.  Such examples includ

1.  Annual Campus Notice
Office of Information Technology (OIT) provides an annual notice to all faculty, staff and students that obtaining or distributing copyrighted material without proper authorization is illegal.  The notice summarizes the procedures used in investigations as well as the potential penalties that an individual could face for violations.  Hyperlinks to websites that contain additional education information are also provided in the notice.

2.  Faculty and Staff Orientation
OIT provides awareness of Acceptable Use Policy for all new faculty and staff that begin working at the university.

3.  Student Orientation

New students at the university are provided with information at orientation that provides awareness of Acceptable Use Policy as well as issues with using filesharing software to obtain and/or distribute copyright materials illegally.

4.  Faculty and Staff Training

New faculty and staff at the university are required to take mandatory training that demonstrates awareness and understanding of University policy.  Such training includes information technology security, advanced security, and ethics.

Download Alternatives

The university will offer alternative downloads to the extent practicable and as they are identified.  Currently, OIT does not believe an alternative exists that fits within our current budget and resource constrained environment.  The university’s residence halls are operated by a 3rd party utilizing separate Internet access that should allow students to utilize private pay self-services.

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