The following is abbreviated from the full File Sharing Policy.
As online music, movies and other media have become more popular, the issues of piracy and theft of copyrighted material have increased as well.
Companies who own the pirated material are able to track files that are illegally transferred. They then pressure Internet Service Providers (ISP's) to reveal the identities of users who are transferring these files and thereby violating copyright law. Students have been sued by copyright holders and required to pay substantial settlements.
Illegal file sharing is a violation of the Technology Acceptable Use Policy, Simmons' Copyright Policy, and the College's Honor Code. Forms of file sharing that are illegal occur when you download or upload a file without the consent of the copyright owner of the content in the file. There are some gray areas in this evolving area of the law, and you should read more for guidance including the articles linked to this page and in the Simmons Technology Knowledge Base.
What Happens if a Student is Investigated?
If a claim is made by a copyright holder against a student, the student will be notified by the College and given an opportunity to address the complaint. If the student is found to be using the Simmons College network inappropriately or fails to comply with Simmons College network policy, that student could lose network privileges. Depending on the severity of the infractions, additional actions may be taken. Furthermore, users may be sought out by the holders of the copyrighted information for restitution, which in many cases involves heavy fines and time in prison.
There are many options that allow people to experience free and inexpensive music and other media legally online. Visit the links below for some examples.
- Apple iTunes (music, TV shows, movies, audio & video podcasts, for free, rent, and buy)
- Garageband (independent music)
- MSN Music
- Napster (subscription service)
- Rhapsody (free or subscription)
- MPAA: Legal Alternatives to Piracy (links to TV and motion picture sites)
- RIAA: Legal Music Sites (links to online music sources)