The following message was sent to U-M students on September 22, 2016:
Subject: Important Information about Digital Copyright Compliance
Dear U-M Students:
In a creative, academic community such as ours, it is important to uphold the rights of others, including those of copyright holders. Federal law requires that we send an annual message to all students to help you understand your responsibilities and avoid potential legal problems related to copyright infringement.
These risks most often arise through the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing technology, such as BitTorrent. Using P2P technology is not in itself illegal, but what you share and how you share it may be. When you make copies of copyrighted works available or when you acquire unauthorized copies of copyrighted works, you may be infringing on someone else's rights.
Some P2P systems even hide from you the fact that you are uploading or sharing. We urge you to educate yourself about the appropriate use of P2P technologies and to refrain from unlawful uses.
Copyright compliance enforcement agencies aggressively pursue infringers. If you are infringing, even unknowingly, you can be subject to civil damages of between $750 and $150,000 per infringement, and even criminal fines of up to $250,000 and jail time.
If you are infringing, you are violating federal law, as well as violating university policies:
- Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Responsible Use of Information Resources (SPG 601.07)
- U-M Network Responsible Use Agreement
For more specifics, including steps you can take to avoid copyright infringement and links to resources for legal options for downloading digital media, visit Digital Copyright Compliance.
E. Royster Harper
Vice President for Student Life
Donald J. Welch
Chief Information Security Officer and U-M DMCA Agent