• Copyright for Students

    Lewis and Clark Community College takes intellectual property rights seriously. Both the Student Code of Conduct and the Technology Acceptable Use Policy identify property rights infringement as code violations and stipulate penalties up to and including expulsion for violations. The following pages seek to inform students about piracy and theft in the digital age.

    Digital Media | Peer to Peer | More on Copyright

    Digital Media

    What is Digital Rights Management and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) passed by Congress in 1998, makes it illegal to copy or share intellectual property - music, videos, games, software and other materials--without permissions.  Lewis and Clark Community College adheres to the regulations and guidelines outline by the DMCA.

    Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technologies used by publishers and copyright owners to control access to and usage of digital data.  The DMCA makes it illegal to produce and distribute technology that circumvents these copy-protection methods.

    Is it really illegal to share music and movies from my computer?

    Yes, in most cases. More specifically, it is illegal unless you own the copyright on the work or have permission from the owner to distribute it. For the vast majority of material (e.g., anything that is for sale in stores or online) it is illegal to download or upload copies. There are a few exceptions:

    • You can legally distribute material that you have the rights to, e.g. material that you create and publish yourself.
    • If the owner (typically the creator) gives you permission to give away the material, e.g. CDs of your friend's band.
    • Streaming via iTunes is legal for music purchased from the iTunes music store.

    Unauthorized downloading or uploading of copyrighted material can result in legal action against you, including lawsuits by the copyright holder or their agent (such as the RIAA). It is also a violation of Lewis & Clark's Acceptable Use Policy.

    Is it okay to share just within the Lewis and Clark community?

    No. It's also not "safe" to break the law on campus; students at other colleges have been sued for illegal sharing that was limited to their campus. They settled out of court.

    Is it legal to just download material from peer-to-peer services, as long as I don't serve it?

    There are legal ways to download copyrighted materials, for instance, from Emusic, iTunes Music Store, and many more that you can find with a quick web search. Each of these services has some kind of revenue: simple sales, monthly fees or advertising.

    But peer-to-peer sharing of copyrighted material without the copyright holder's permission is illegal, whether you are serving it up or downloading it. A useful analogy is receiving stolen property. And in most cases, the software you use to download files automatically makes your machine into a server, so you may be serving files without even realizing it.

    Isn't sharing music protected as "fair use" under copyright law?

    The doctrine of fair use is an important one, especially in an academic setting. But the vast majority of online music sharing is done in ways that do not constitute fair use. More information is available at the websites below.

    Will Lewis and Clark protect my identity or defend me if I am sued?

    No. L&C will comply with legal subpoenas.

    But sharing is good for the record companies -- their sales keep going up!

    That's a good point to raise if you are arguing to change the governing law. But it doesn't change the current legal setting.

    What risks result from sharing music online?

    Copyright holders can file lawsuits against you (a tactic that they are currently pursuing aggressively). The maximum penalty can be very large and most cases are settled out of court. They can also notify L&C of infringements that are taking place on campus, and require us to intervene to stop them.  

    Where can I learn more?

    Are there legal online sources for copyrighted music and movies?

    Yes. There are many legal sources for copyrighted material such as music and movies. They have a wide range of business models; some are even free. The most up-to-date and comprehensive compendia of legal sources are maintained by industry associations. In addition to useful lists of music sources, the web sites below also present the industry's perspective on copyright issues.

    Peer to Peer

    Lewis and Clark Community College Compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Requirements


    H.R 4137, the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), is a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.  It includes provisions that are designed to reduce the illegal uploading and downloading of copyrighted works through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. These provisions include requirements that:

    Institutions make an annual disclosure that informs students that the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials may subject them to criminal and civil penalties and describes the steps that institutions will take to detect and punish illegal distribution of copyrighted materials.

    Institutions certify to the Secretary of Education that they have developed plans to “effectively combat” the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.

    Institutions, “to the extent practicable,” offer alternatives to illegal file sharing.

    Institutions identify procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.  

    This document outlines Lewis and Clark’s plan to comply with these requirements.

    Annual Disclosure

    Consistent with our educational principles, we view education as the most important element in combating illegal sharing of copyrighted materials at Lewis & Clark. We use a wide variety of methods to inform our community about the law and Lewis and Clark’s response to copyright infringement claims:

    • ln order to use college computing resources, all members of the Lewis and Clark community endorse a Computer User Agreement that includes a section on copyright compliance.
    • Each year, students and faculty receive a Student Handbook that highlights copyright concerns and points to further information on our website and other websites.
    • Every fall we send an email to all students regarding illegal distribution of copyrighted materials.
    • Computing support staff are regularly trained on the College position with respect to copyright issues.
    • Lewis and Clark’s policies and procedures concerning the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and our response to infringement claims are published on Lewis and Clark’s website.
    • Periodically, all College employees receive email from the President or other officers regarding copyright infringement and related issues.

    Plans to “Effectively Combat” the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material

    Lewis and Clark currently deploys Packetshaper to shape bandwidth.  We also have the ability to limit the number of simultaneous traffic flows from our wireless networks. When we discover a system using excessive bandwidth, we contact the owner to ensure that the bandwidth consumption is for legal purposes and that the user is aware of the College's policies concerning illegal file sharing.

    The College responds to all Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices according to policies published on our website.

    Offering Alternatives to Illegal File Sharing

    The Lewis and Clark website provides links to sites that provide numerous options for obtaining music, videos, and other digital content in a legal manner. Members of the Lewis and Clark community are encouraged to take advantage of these legitimate sources of digital content. 

    Reviewing Effectiveness

    Beginning in 2012-13 and periodically thereafter, we will survey community members to assess the extent to which our anti-piracy messages are reaching them, the extent to which community members are taking advantage of legal alternatives, the impact of our technical efforts to combat illegal file sharing, and other aspects of our plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.