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What is IU policy on "warez" and software piracy?

The term "warez" commonly refers to computer software distributions that violate copyright license, but it can also refer to unauthorized copies of music, movies, or multimedia. Software piracy occurs when people copy and distribute copyrighted materials by circumventing or removing the copy protection. Indiana University strictly prohibits the unauthorized use or copying of copyrighted material of any sort, including computer software.

While Indiana University does not actively search for instances of copyright violation, investigations into degradation of service and network problems, as well as routine security administration, can expose violations. In such cases, the university is obligated to investigate, just as it is for complaints of illegal activities or inappropriate use taking place on the IU network. Copyright owners do actively search for copyright infringements of their works using the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). When IU receives such a complaint or discovers a violation via other means, the university is legally required to remove the offending material from the IU network. For more about the procedure regarding copyright violations that involve the IU network, see Copyright Infringement Incident Resolution.

In addition to sending complaints to IU, copyright owners may also take direct legal action against alleged infringers, and subpoena the university for information about people sharing files. The No Electronic Theft (NET) Act provides for serious criminal penalties, including a fine of up to $250,000 and a potential jail sentence. Lack of knowledge about copyright infringement laws will not excuse you from legal consequences, or from action by the university. It is your responsibility to be aware of the legality of your actions. For more, see How can I protect myself?

For additional information, see Indiana University Information Technology Policies and Filesharing @ IU.

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Last modified on September 05, 2013.

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