[unisog] Verifying infringement

Rita Seplowitz Saltz rita at Princeton.EDU
Wed Nov 7 20:24:58 GMT 2001


When the infringement complaint comes from a reliable source, we do not
attempt to verify infringement.  The person responsible for the host is
notified that a complaint has been received.  S/he is told that if indeed
the offending file is present on the computer, it must be removed at once to
come into compliance.  S/he also is told that in the unlikely case written
authorization from the rights-holder had been obtained prior to publishing
the item to the Internet, s/he should produce a copy of that authorization
so I can respond correctly to the complaint.

Appropriate disciplinary authorities are copied on such notice to
undergraduate or graduate students, and the student is told that violation
of copyright also is a violation of this university's regulations, hence the
copy to the appropriate authorities.

There are two clear virtues for us in this method (i.e., notification sans
verification):

*  If the material is present, following notification it is removed.

*  The individual learns something about:
    --copyright (people do care about it)
    --use of peer-to-peer sharing (prudence is required)
    --University regulations (and that the University cares)

So far no one has claimed not to have, or have had, the file(s) named.  And
(no surprise) no one has produced written authorization from the
rights-holder.

Now if some unknown party claims a Princetonian has published an image from
their web page without permission, we check on that before contacting the
responsible party.  But allegations from the Motion Picture Association of
America, NetPD, MediaForce, RIAA, etc. regarding audio and video files all
go the route described above.

(For non-students, we work through department managers or other appropriate
authorities.)

Rita Saltz
Policy and Security Advisor
Office of Information Technology (OIT)
Princeton University



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