Illegal Downloading and Piracy

The Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) are trade associations whose member companies create, manufacture, and distribute approximately 90 percent of all legitimate music, film, and television recordings, and computer and video games sold in the United States. They are authorized to act on behalf of their member companies in matters involving the infringement of the music, visual arts, and software industry, including enforcing their copyrights and common law rights on the Internet.

To protect both our students and network resources, the University constantly utilizes tools designed to detect and deter the transmission of large files. If these files were allowed to traverse the campus network, it would not only impact network traffic but also interrupt instructional programs and represent a misuse of scarce state-provided network bandwidth.

Cal State L.A. takes copyright violations seriously. When the University receives an RIAA/MPAA/ESA or other copyright notification of unauthorized downloading, immediate action is taken. The notification includes specific information about the date, time, network address, and port where the violation occurred. Information Technology Services (ITS) checks the network logs for the account used during the violation time period.

Once the student is identified, the information is referred to University Counsel, who in turn refers the matter to the Judicial Affairs Officer. Their role is to counsel students about copyright laws in order to prevent further incidents and possible personal liabilities. The Judicial Affairs Officer forwards a copy of the infringement notification to the student and takes any other actions as deemed appropriate.

If the University receives a copyright violation notice concerning a faculty or staff computer, the matter is immediately turned over to Human Resources Management.

Online infringement of copyrighted music can be punished by up to 3 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Repeat offenders can be imprisoned up to 6 years. Individuals may also be held civilly liable, regardless of whether the activity is for profit, for actual damages or lost profits, or for statutory damages up to $150,000 per infringed copyright.