Copyright Infringement

Copyright Information

Information Security acts as a steward for the university when responding to reports of copyright infringement. As a team dedicated to maintaining the integrity and survivability of the university's network, we will act on each notice and investigate each incident to validate reports. When the report of copyright violation is found to be valid, we will act to disable the offending host on our network.  We will also send a report of the incident to the Dean of Students (in the event that a student is the offending party) or to the Employee Relations Director (in the case of a staff member).

Reports of copyright infringement violations should be submitted to Information Security by sending mail to We require a digitally signed message that allows us to verify your identity.

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) focuses on the protection of an authors' rights to intellectual property in a digital age. The Act was passed by the U.S. Congress on 12 Oct 1998 and signed into Public Law 105-304 on 28 Oct 28 1998 by President William Clinton. The DMCA was designed primarily to sufficiently address the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties signed at the Geneva conference during December of 1996. The DMCA is, by far, the largest Act to supersede pre-existing U.S. copyright law in more than a generation. DMCA highlights include the following:

  1. Outlaws the circumvention of anti-piracy techniques employed by software creators while outlawing the creation, distribution and deployment of "code-cracking" devices built specifically for the circumvention of anti-piracy measures.
  2. Permits the research and testing of such copyright protection devices to assess their encryption measures, interoperability and security integrity.
  3. Limits the distribution of unauthorized or unlicensed copyrighted material including provisions for service providers to limit copyright infringement liability through preventing further spread of copyrighted material and removing such material from hosts, where necessary. Further, limits the liability of higher education institutions in the event they provide connectivity services for faculty and graduate level students.
  4. Requires specific licensing fees to be properly distributed towards artists and authors during Internet broadcasts.

DePaul University, as a service provider for students, faculty and staff, must honor the DMCA in accordance with applicable laws.

Preventing P2P Copyright Infringement

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks have become a commonplace for the exchange of material ranging from movies, music, images, software and more. One of the frst vendors of wide-scale P2P networks was Napster, Inc, with others such as Aimster, Gnutella, KaZaA, Limewire and others following closely after. P2P sharing can also be performed by using the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) via the Direct Client to Client (DCC) protocol, a method in existence since the early conception of IRC networks.
Configuration errors are easy to make with P2P software, and we have seen cases of users unwittingly sharing their entire hard drive on the P2P network.  Check your configuration carefully to ensure you are not sharing anything you hadn't intended to and that you are not illegally sharing any copyrighted material.
While you are on DePaul's network, we strongly urge you to disable file sharing in your P2P client.  In most clients, this can be performed through an explicit option being set in the configuration preferences, or through changing the number of "allowed uploads" to zero (0).