Campus Sees Progress in Efforts to Prevent Illegal File Sharing and Copyright Infringement Activities

According to the campus Business Contracts and Analysis Office, which has been receiving, coordinating and tracking the numbers of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) infringement notifications since the law's enactment in 1998, the number of notifications for UC Davis for October 2003-February 2004 continue to be lower than the same period of the 2002-03 academic year.

In May 2003, following lawsuits filed by the Recording Industry of America Association (RIAA) against four students from three universities for copyright infringement, UC Davis initiated a new awareness campaign to alert students, faculty and staff of the risks of illegal file sharing. The number of DMCA notifications immediately went down, with the peak number of notifications occurring the month (April 2003) just prior to RIAA lawsuits and campus awareness efforts. That peak number in April 2003 was 96 notifications, with the type of files being primarily music, but also including some movie and software files. While the number of notifications received by the campus dropped significantly after that and stayed at typically low summer rates in 2003, the numbers increased again when Fall 2003 classes began. The good news is that the monthly numbers for October 2003-February 2004 are lower than they were during the same months of the 2002-2003 academic year, with an average of 27 notifications each month versus 32 notifications. Interestingly, most of the current illegal downloading activities are movie and software related.

In general, students in the residence halls have been the primary offenders, with staff offenses being extremely rare. Jan Carmikle Dwyer of the Business Contracts and Analysis Office notes that her office always sees a spike in illegal file sharing among students during bad weather and finals weeks. However, once students are served notice from Student Judicial Affairs that their activities are not going unnoticed, they seem to cease illegal file sha ring. ?We see very few repeat offenders,? says Dwyer.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, many colleges fail to set policies in place that will discourage or prevent students from illegal file sharing. In response to the wildly varying scenarios of DMCA-enforcement on campuses nationwide, EDUCAUSE has formed the Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities to examine DMCA enforcement and awareness efforts taken by colleges across the country. To learn more about the Committee's findings visit

UC Davis continues efforts to raise awareness about copyright infringement. A number of Web sites and communications are available, including a special section on the Student Computing Guide ( For additional information about file sharing, see the UC copyright education Web site at UC Davis campus community members can find questions and answers by subscribing to the DMCA-info listserv. Simply visit, select ?Subscribe to mailing list,? and enter DMCA-info in the search field.