Copyright at SMU
Copyright law protects the creator of a work and his right to profit from that work. It protects musical works (including lyrics), dramatic works (including accompanying music), choreographed works, movies, video games, paintings, novels, software code, sculptures, architectural works and more. All literature is protected under copyright law.
Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement. Copyright infringement is a federal crime and you are ultimately responsible for the data you download, include on paper, or on a personal web site.
As part of the Acceptable Use Policy here at SMU, a person agrees to not use university resources for unauthorized duplication, use or distribution of copyrighted materials, including music and video files. These types of activities are deemed illegal according to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and violators are subject to civil and criminal penalties.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your online activity and downloads are legitimate. Although IT does not police downloading and file sharing, we are legally obligated to act on any reports of copyright infringement provided by various entities. For more information on our process, visit SMU's Plan for Combating Illegal File Sharing