Network Misuse and Copyright

Network Misuse

Below are our policies concerning the use of our network and copyright.

Copyright

See our FAQ Page for answers to some common questions.

Copyright Law

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, the sharing of copyrighted material without permission of the copyright holder is illegal. The DMCA requires that Internet Service Providers such as WWU take steps to expeditiously remove or disable access to any copyrighted material being shared illegally from within its network.

WWU Responsible Computing policy states: “All users of the computing systems are to respect the rights of other computing users, respect the integrity of the physical facilities and controls, and respect all pertinent copyright, license, and contractual agreements.”

File sharing on campus

File sharing programs aggressively use large quantities of available bandwidth, which can cause slow downs for other students who use the network. To maintain a usable network for all, as well as to prevent users from sharing copyrighted files with others, file sharing programs receive the lowest priority on our network (see traffic prioritization). Web surfing, email, instant messaging, and online gaming get first dibs at the network bandwidth, which causes file sharing programs to run extremely slow.

Copyright violations on campus

ResTek does not monitor the content of your online activities. However, there are companies and organizations (like the RIAA) that locate people who are downloading or distributing copyrighted materials.

Copyright violation is a serious crime, and you should research copyright law if you want to know the possible legal consequences. ResTek’s policy upon notification of a copyright infringement is:

  • Your Internet connection is disabled.
  • You will be notified via MyWestern email of the violation.
  • The incident is entered into the housing conduct system.
  • You will meet with your Resident Director to discuss the issue and appropriate sanctions.
  • You must remove the file(s) named in the allegation from your hard drive.

File sharing alternatives

Check out these great sites for legal music, movies, and more!

Free

  • Spotify: Download the Spotify app for your PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone and gain access to thousands of songs available for streaming. Several paid subscription options allow for advertisement-free and offline listening.
  • Pandora: With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart’s content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs or artists into Pandora and let the Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings.
  • Hulu┬áStream thousands of TV shows and movies instantly.
  • Amazon Instant-Video. Over 100,000 top movies and TV shows to rent or buy, including thousands available to Amazon Prime members (free with university email).
  • Last.fm: Last.fm is a music recommendation service. You use Last.fm by signing up and downloading The Scrobbler, which helps you discover more music based on the songs you play.

Pay-per-download

  • Amazon MP3. Pay per track or album.
  • Amazon Instant-Video. Over 100,000 top movies and TV shows to rent or buy, including thousands available to Amazon Prime members.
  • iTunes, Apple’s pay-per-download music service.
  • Netflix Watch thousands of movies instantly.
  • Rhapsody. Rhapsody is a digital music service that lets you listen to whatever you want, whenever you want it. With online music stores, you pay for every track or album, but Rhapsody lets you listen to everything we’ve got for one low monthly price.

Misuse

By using the network, you are agreeing to abide by all policies outlined by WWU and ResTek.

WWU Computing Policies:

Responsible Computing Policy
User Agreement For WWU Network And Computing Resources

Residential network misuse

Examples of misuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Using an unauthorized IP address
  • Statically defining your IP address without permission
  • Sending unsolicited mass mailings (chain mail, solicitations, etc.)
  • Violating terms of applicable software licensing agreements or copyright laws. This includes providing for distribution of, or using network resources to obtain copyrighted MP3 files, movies, etc.
  • Deliberately wasting computing resources or excessive bandwidth use.
  • Using a computer account that you are not authorized to use.
  • Using the campus network to gain unauthorized access to any computer system.
  • Knowingly performing an act which will interfere with the normal operation of computers, terminals, peripherals, or networks.
  • Attempting to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover security loopholes.
  • Using electronic mail to harass others.
  • Masking the identity of an account or machine.
  • Posting on electronic bulletin boards materials that violate existing laws or the University’s codes of conduct.
  • Attempting to monitor or tamper with another user’s electronic communications, or reading, copying, changing, or deleting another user’s files or software without the explicit agreement of the owner.
  • Using the network for commercial purposes or charging for any service provided across the network.
  • Using another’s computer account, identity, or IP.

Violations of policies may fall under the jurisdiction of Residence Life, Academic Technology & User Service (ATUS) or the University Judicial officer.

This information is also available in the Residential Community Handbook.