File Sharing & Copyright
The University takes copyright protection very seriously, and is obligated to comply with federal laws governing copyright, namely the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA). Many scholars and artists rely on these regulations to protect their intellectual property.
Peer-to-peer file sharing applications are commonly used to share copyrighted material such as music, movies, software, and games. If you share copyrighted material without permission, you are breaking the law and could be subject to legal consequences. While ResComp does not monitor the content of residents' uploads and downloads, the entertainment industry actively looks for users who engage in the unlawful sharing of copyrighted material.
Residential Computing wants you to have an enjoyable and worry-free experience on the Internet. We're on your side! Please use legal alternatives to illegal downloading and do not violate copyright laws. There are many services to choose from, including Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Amazon, or Pandora.
Go here for more information about our policy, file sharing alternatives, and why you should always get your copyrighted media the legal way.
If a copyright owner discovers that you are sharing copyrighted material on the Internet, UC Berkeley receives a "take down" notice from the agency representing the copyright holder (such as the RIAA or MPAA). For violations that originate in the residence halls, the University forwards these notices to Residential Computing.
In compliance with University policy, ResComp will then send you an email stating that we received a take-down notice, along with the details of the notice and a warning of the consequences of future DMCA notifications. In the event of a second take-down notice, you will be sent another email warning and your Internet will be disabled. You must respond to this warning to acknowledge receipt of the email (this response is not an admission of guilt). Your connection will then be re-enabled 1 business day later. If a third notification is received, your Internet connection will be disabled for one week. Upon a fourth DMCA take-down request, an incident report will be filed with the Office of Student Development.
It is possible for you to get caught sharing copyrighted material and not receive a take down notice. Instead, UC Berkeley receives a subpoena warning on your behalf, and ResComp then sends you a formal notice of the impending subpoena as well as a copy of the subpoena warning. In the formal notice, you are advised to seek legal counsel at your own cost or contact the office of Student Legal Services on campus.
An additional possibility is that, if you are accused of sharing copyrighted material, you may never receive a subpoena or take down notice, but rather a "pre-settlement letter." In this scenario, the copyright holder informs you that you've been caught illegally sharing copyrighted material and can either pay for the violation up front or risk getting sued for much more. Pre-settlement costs range from a minimum of $750 per file, which can quickly add up to thousands of dollars. Avoid these risks by using legal services to get your digital media!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding copyright enforcement, please email email@example.com.
Minimum Security Requirements
Be Safe, Be Smart: Protect Your Computer & Yourself
Every device on the network must meet the minimum security standards required by the campus. Computers that are not updated or protected against viruses and hackers are a vulnerability that can potentially affect all users, and may be temporarily blocked from the network. Protect your computer and your data from online threats by ensuring that your device meets these security requirements:
Your computer must have antivirus software, which will detect and eliminate malicious code and viruses on your device.
Ensure that your computer's firewall is activated to guard against potentially harmful network traffic that can exploit security holes on your system.
Set a strong administrative password to help prevent hackers from compromising your device and accessing your personal data.
Enable automatic operating system updates to protect your computer from the newest security vulnerabilities as they are discovered.
ResComp can help you stay secure. Go to rescomp.berkeley.edu/security to learn about software and practices that will help you meet the campus minimum security standards.
Where campus Wi-Fi service is available (AirBears2 network), residents are not permitted to set up their own wireless networks using routers or wireless printers. This is due to the limited wireless spectrum on frequencies used for Wi-Fi service, and because the signals from individual wireless routers can disrupt and degrade the wireless network for everyone.
Most wireless spectrum space is reserved for licensed uses such as commercial television and radio. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allocated only a limited amount of wireless spectrum for unlicensed use by the general public. Multiple devices using the same frequency simultaneously will interfere with each other. If you turn on your own access point in the residence halls, it weakens the signal strength of AirBears2 Wi-Fi for all your neighbors.
If you live in University Village or faculty housing where wireless is not provided, you may bring and set up your own wireless router.
For more information about Wi-Fi in the residence halls, read our Wi-Fi FAQ.
If you experience problems with the campus wireless service in your room, please contact us for assistance.
Campus Network Policies
Be Informed - Know the Campus Network Policies
When using communications resources provided by the University, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the campus use policies, including security requirements, copyright, and the Electronic Communications Policy. Penalties for violating these regulations may include having your network connection temporarily disabled or an incident report filed with the Office of Student Development. Avoid these risks by reviewing the policies listed below:
- Electronic Communication Policy
- Computer Use Policy
- Copyright Policy
- Minimum Security Standards for Networked Devices
Although ResComp does not currently enforce a per-person bandwidth limit, we do reserve the right to protect the campus network from abuse. If your bandwidth usage is excessive to the point of causing network degradation, your Internet connection may be temporarily disabled while we work with you to investigate the cause of the problem.
As noted in our copyright policy, it is against the law to use your network connection to share copyrighted materials. This includes sharing music, movies, TV shows, games, or software files over BitTorrent or other peer-to-peer file sharing programs. Copyright holders actively look for users who share files without permission, and if your computer is found to be the source of file sharing, you are susceptible to legal action from copyright holders in the industry.
You must accept this liability release before an Residential Computing Consultant can physically access your computer's hardware:
By accepting technical support from Residential Computing staff, I expressly waive all claims against Residential Computing and its agents for any damages to my computer system or data that are incidental to the technical support rendered by Residential Computing. I understand that technical support I receive from Residential Computing may void manufacturer warranties and I understand that Residential Computing offers no verbal or written warranty, either expressed or implied, regarding the success of this technical support. I understand that I have the right not to accept support from Residential Computing staff and to seek technical assistance elsewhere.