In response to changing technology, Office of Information Technology - Information Security OIT-IS has revised the procedures for handling copyright infringement complaints. These complaints originate from one of a host of sources, including commercial groups like RIAA, MPAA, and BSA as well as private individuals. In all cases, the complaints involve the removal of infringing copyright works. The complaints take one of three forms:
Take-Down Notice - This is what most copyright offenders receive. It is a notice from the copyright holder asking the party to take the material off-line and stop sharing the material. For Take-Down notices, Georgia Tech does not release any information about the infringement or the copyright offender to any entities outside of Georgia Tech.
Pre-Litigation Notice - When Georgia Tech receives Pre-Litigation notices, we pass them along to the student or faculty/staff member who was assigned the IP address at the time of the infringement. The notice allows you to contact the copyright holder's legal representation to discuss your options for working out a settlement instead of appearing in court. For Pre-Litigation notices, Georgia Tech does not release any information about the infringement or the copyright offender to any entities outside of Georgia Tech.
Subpoena - Should a copyright offender not take advantage of the pre-litigation notice, RIAA will issue a subpoena to Georgia Tech requesting the subscriber contact information for IP address at the time of the copyright infringement. By law, Georgia Tech is required to provide information requested in the subpoena about the copyright infringement back to the reporting agency's legal representative.
It is important to note that Georgia Tech is not acting as a copyright enforcement agency. Rather, we have an obligation to respond to complaints by notifying students, faculty, and staff who might be sharing copyrighted works and ask that the works be removed at the request of the copyright owner.
In addition, if you receive a take-down request from Georgia Tech, removal of the material does not necessarily mean that the copyright owner will not pursue other legal actions (e.g. law suit). In some cases, we have seen pre-litigation notices and subpoenas issued for John/Jane Does who never received a take down notice.
If you are not using your P2P client for scholarly work or research, we highly recommend you removing the application. Doing so will help prevent further copyright violations, whether they be intentional or unintentional. Also, please be aware that using ‚Äúpro‚Äù versions of P2P applications (e.g. Limewire Pro) does NOT mean that you are entitled to legally download and share copyrighted material.
Finally, this procedure and information contained herein is not meant to provide legal advice. Should you receive a pre-litigation or subpoena request, we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice.
Georgia Tech normally receives copyright complaints via e-mail (to either OIT-IS or Legal Affairs). In the case of first-time complaints, we will check to see who was assigned the IP and send an email to them asking them to remove the materials (1st Offense below). In cases of second or third complaints, we will check the date the individual confirmed action regarding the first complaint complaint against the date of the follow-up complaint. With the delays from detection to notification to the Institute and delays between receipt by Legal Affairs and receipt by Information Security, a second detection can occur before the student responds to the first. Therefore, a second violation will only apply as a second violation if it is after such time as notification has been made.
After confirming the subscriber information of the individual who was assigned the IP at the time of the copyright infringement, OIT-IS will also also determine the number of previous copyright offenses for that user (i.e. first, second, third, etc). The user will be notified of this information as well as the next steps he must take. The response to the copyright infringer is based on whether the individual is a student or a member of the faculty/staff and the number of previous complaints.
Student Owned System (within ResNet/EastNet)
1st Offense - OIT-IS will contact the student associated with the offending IP at the time of the copyright infringement by e-mail (using the 1st offense e-mail template) and provide details of the complaint if available. The student's residential network connection will be placed in limbo, which is a temporary state of isolation. Once the student removes the copyrighted material, the student can take themselves out of limbo. The student will be given one week upon receipt of copyright notice to notify OIT-IS that the copyrighted material has been removed. Responses, if any, will be recorded and the incident will be closed.
2nd Offense - OIT-IS will contact the student associated with the offending IP at the time of the copyright infringement by e-mail (using the 2nd offense e-mail template) and provide details of the complaint if available. The student will need to make an appointment with our office to discuss the issue within one business day upon receipt of the copyright notice. We will disable the student's network access until the student meets with OIT-Information Security. Once the appointment has been completed with OIT-Information Security, the student's network connection will be restored.
3rd Offense - OIT-IS will contact the student associated with the offending IP at the time of the copyright infringement by e-mail (using the 3rd offense e-mail template) and provide details of the complaint if available. After that, several things will occur. First, network access for the student will be terminated. Second, all information regarding the case will be sent to the Office of Student Integrity. At this time, the student will be placed on probation by OSI until the issue has been resolved. Third, OSI will contact the student with information on how to make an appointment to speak with a judicial officer regarding the case. Once the case has been resolved, OSI will contact OIT-IS to restore the student's network access. Finally, we will note the outcome of the meeting in the ticket and consider the incident closed.
Institute Owned System (faculty & staff systems)
1st Offense - OIT-Information Security will contact the Unit CSR by e-mail or phone with details of the complaint and request an explanation and appropriate action within 2 business days. If no response and is received from at least two contact attempts within that time, Unit management will be contacted and the network connection for the offending IP will be disabled pending resolution of the problem.
2nd Offense - OIT-Information Security will contact the CSR and copy Unit management by e-mail with details of the complaint and request an explanation and appropriate action within 2 business days. If no response is received from at least two contact attempts within that time, a follow up phone call to Unit management will be made and the network connection for the offending IP will be disabled pending resolution of the problem.
3rd Offense - OIT-Information Security will contact Unit management and copy the CSR regarding the failure to provide an appropriate solution and recommend additional training for both CSR and system administrator/user as well as note that personnel action may be required. The network connection for the offending IP will be disabled immediately pending direct discussions with the Unit head.