File Sharing

Sharing music, movies, and software over the Lynchburg College network

Many people have engaged in downloading and sharing digital content - music, movies, software, and photographs - over the Internet. As a responsible member of the Lynchburg College community, you must remember that you are expected to comply with College policy and appropriate laws.

Of particular interest should be the College's Technology Acceptable Use Policy (see The Hornet), Title 17 of the United States Code (also known as the "Copyright Act") and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998).

If you have questions about the information on this page, please contact the Office of Information Technology and Resources (ITR) at ext. 8350 or help@lynchburg.edu.

What you CAN do

  • Make a backup copy of a CD, a DVD, or software that you purchased
  • Copy music or movies that you purchased to your computer
  • Copy music or movies that you purchased to your PDA, iPod, or MP3 music device
  • Make a CD for yourself from music you purchase from appropriate sites on the Internet

A list of websites offering legal downloading of copyrighted media is available at http://www.campusdownloading.com/legal.htm.

What you CANNOT do

  • Share, for others to download, music, movies, or software via a network (over the Internet)
  • Make copies of a CD, DVD, or software to give to a friend or that you borrowed from a friend
  • Distribute for personal gain music you have purchased or downloaded
  • Download music, movies, or software without purchasing it

Consequences of Violations

  • Disciplinary action through the College's judicial process - includes fines and inability to access the College's network with your personal computer for a specified time; see /copyrightcomplaints for details of the College's response to copyright violations.
  • Civil and Criminal Penalties - In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.
    • Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

A Note on File-Sharing Software

File-sharing software (Limewire, Kazaa, BitTorrent, etc.) usually installs such that sharing is automatically turned on. Note that the software often also installs "spyware," software that tracks your activity on the Internet and displays targeted advertisements. Spyware interferes with the operation of Internet browsers and may prevent you from accessing your email via the Web interface, Moodle, and MyLC.