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Policies, Practices & Responsibilities

From: on behalf of Drell, Persis S.
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 3:21 PM
To: allhands
Subject: Copyright Violations --- All Hands

Categories: Important

Most software, music, and video entertainment is protected by copyright law. Each of us has a responsibility to respect this law. It is against Stanford and SLAC policy to use any SLAC resources to obtain, distribute or share copyrighted material via illegal means.

There are a number of ways you might unwittingly be in violation of these policies and not know it. First, the Visitor network at SLAC is a government network and its use is governed by DOE and SLAC policy. Second, when you connect to SLAC via VPN, your home computer now appears on the SLAC network and any file sharing you (or anyone else in your household) might have installed on your home computer now appears on the SLAC network (since you are routing your connection through SLAC) and the resulting file sharing puts you in violation of Stanford, SLAC, and DOE policy. Regardless of who may have been responsible for the violation, you are accountable for any legal or policy infraction.

It is important to realize that even if you install a file sharing program on your home computer only to obtain some files legally (such as BitTorrent, Kazaa, LimeWire, etc.), many of these programs run in the background (even though you might think you have closed the program) and advertise for redistribution many files from your hard drive. If you have downloaded file sharing programs and are connecting using SLAC VPN, you are now in violation of these policies. If you have downloaded file sharing programs and are connecting using SLAC VPN, you should remove these programs from the machines connecting to the SLAC VPN. If you have downloaded copyrighted material using the SLAC VPN, or if this material resides on a SLAC-owned machine, you are in violation of these policies. Please remove these programs and files immediately. Violation of these policies may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Federal laws permit the holders of the copyrights to seek financial compensation and damages for violations of copyright law. There are an increasing number of firms who specialize in looking for people illegally distributing copyrighted material, using state-of-the-art web monitoring software, so violators stand a good chance of getting caught. Financial penalties can be very significant, and violators bear responsibility for the payment of any fines associated with copyright violations. Please don't use these types of file sharing software programs or inappropriately access, share, or distribute copyrighted materials.


Background material
P2P or Filesharing: This software is completely prohibited at SLAC. Some examples of software product names which are P2P or filesharing are eMule, Gnutella, LimeWire, and Kazaa. Many other products are P2P or filesharing but they are not specifically listed here. All are prohibited.
Sharing music, videos, software, and other copyrighted material in violation of copyright laws can expose you and others to legal sanctions, as well as sanctions under Stanford's policies.

We want to remind you not to engage in illegal downloading of copyrighted material such as music and films or the downloading of pornography from the internet. We also remind you of SLAC's obligation to follow up, report to the DOE Inspector General, and discipline any individual on site who does engage in such activity. Because SLAC is government funded, SLAC has an additional prohibition on misuse of government property.
The law requires the university to respond to such complaints by eliminating access to the infringing materials, and may further require Stanford to identify students, faculty, staff or others who have violated copyright laws.

The university will eliminate access and will provide information as required by law. Furthermore, the university also will suspend or terminate computer access to members of the community who continue to violate copyright laws.

Finally, the university will take action through the student, employee, or faculty disciplinary processes if necessary.

Owner: SLAC Computer Security
Last Updated: 08/10/2010
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