Downloading Music and Movies
The UW-Madison is a strong proponent of copyright law and other protections for intellectual property rights. We depend on such laws to protect the fruits of our research and teaching activities. UW-Madison actively promotes awareness about copyright and cooperates with copyright holders who believe that illegal distribution is occuring on university networks. Unfortunately, the university still receives a large number of notices from copyright holders such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) who actively search for illegal file sharing of music or other copyrighted material.
Protect yourself: Disable file sharing
In general, file sharing is the practice of making files available for other individuals to download. The most common and controversial method of file sharing is the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) software. For answers to commonly asked questions about peer-to-peer software, see Understanding File Sharing
Legal download services
What happens when you're caught
Copyright infringement is a violation of federal law and is strictly prohibited by the Responsible Use Policy. When notification of copyright infringement is received, the university investigates and keeps track of students who appear to be violating copyright law.
Notice 1: A notice is sent to the student including language that the next alleged infringement will be brought to the attention of the Dean of Students. There will be temporary loss of ResNet Internet access (if applicable) until the alleged infringement ceases.
Notice 2: OCIS sends a warning letter to the student. There will be loss of Wisc Wireless and ResNet Internet access until the student completes a copyright awareness quiz (online) and has a computer check up by an approved site, for example, the DoIT Help Desk.
Notice 3: A report is prepared and sent to the Dean of Students. There will be loss of Wisc Wireless and ResNet Internet access until authorized by the Dean of Students.
RIAA and UW-Madison
Resources on copyright usage
- Copyright Infringement Compliance Plan
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Motion Picture Association of America
- Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
- Tales from the Public Domain: Bound by Law Comic Book
- US Copyright Office
- UW Administrative Legal Services
- UW-Madison Responsible Use Policy