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Dealing with Copyright Infringements

This page outlines the process to follow for individuals and institutions responding to a Copyright Infringement notice

What are Copyright Infringement Notices?

Organisations that hold the copyright to material, such as films, protect their assets by identifying those individuals who use file-sharing software, such as bit torrent, to illegally obtain copyright material. The University of Cambridge has a clearly identifiable internet presence such that any illegal file sharing done by its staff or students can be easily traced. When such activity occurs the University receives official complaints from the copyright holder.

  • CamCERT, on behalf the University, is responsible for co-ordinating the University's response to these complaints.
  • CamCERT will contact the local institution, department or college responsible for the identified individual or device.
  • The local institution is responsible for the removal of the copyright material accessed by their student or member of staff and applying any local disciplinary procedures..
  • Except for unusual situations, CamCERT does not contact individual students or staff.

 

How to respond to a notice

If you receive a copyright infringement notice from CamCERT please follow these steps:

  1. Disconnect the device from the network as soon as possible.
  2. Arrange for the device to be cleaned of the copyright material and any other unlawfully held material. Local institutions may have individual policies for this.
  3. Send an acknowledgement to CamCERT () so they may resolve the complaint.
  4. Local institutions need to ensure that the individual is made aware that keeping or sharing of copyright material on devices connected to the CUDN, without the explicit permission of the copyright holder, is against the University's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).
  5. Local institutions are at liberty to apply any local disciplinary action, such as a fine, as required.

Please note: If an institution, or an individual, does not respond to the notification then the University is obliged to take effective action. Typically this means that the UIS will block network access to the individual IP address or the CRSid (if using wireless). Similarly, if an individual is not co-operating with local IT staff, the local IT staff may request that UIS apply a wireless network block on the individual.

 

Notes

Wireless users

Individuals downloading copyright material often use wireless services located in another institution. In this situtation the responsibility for dealing with this rests with the individual's parent institution, not the visited institution where the offence is taking place.

Visitors using UniOfCam (guest tickets) or eduroam

If a visitor is reported while using a UniOfCam wireless guest ticket, CamCERT will also contact the member of staff who issued the guest ticket to the visitor. The issuer of the guest ticket is responsible for the conduct of the guest on the wireless service. If there is no response, the wireless guest ticket will be cancelled, blocking access to the wireless service for the visitor.

If the infringement occurs over a weekend, or public holiday, a guest wireless ticket is usually cancelled immediately as the guest cannot easily be contacted. A new guest ticket can be issued once the issuer has been able to dicuss the incident with the guest.

If a visitor is reported while using eduroam, CamCERT will contact the parent external organisation and request they communicate with the individual. If the parent organisation does not repond or does not resolve the issue, UIS reserves the right to block the visitor's access to the eduroam service provided by the University of Cambridge.

 

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