Illegal File Sharing Notifications on Campus Lowest Since 2001-2002

As of May 1, information provided by the campus-designated agent for DMCA notifications reveals that illegal file sharing notifications at UC Davis are at their lowest levels since the 2001-2002 academic year. The lower number of incidents coincides with the increase in the much-publicized lawsuits filed by the Recording Industry Association of America. Perhaps due to the RIAA's campaign against illegal music, UC Davis students, staff and faculty are now illegally downloading more movies and software than music.

To date, a total of 103 DMCA notifications have been filed against the campus during 2004-2005, a marked improvement from previous years (181 in 2003-2004, and 392 in 2002-2003). 70% of the notifications received by UC Davis in 2004-2005 were for students, most of whom are freshman living on campus (College of Engineering students receiving the highest number of notifications). Thanks to an efficient handling process developed with Student Judicial Affairs, few users have ever garnered a second notification, as such an incident typically results in the permanent loss of all network privileges.

Contrary to popular discussion about illegal sharing of music files, the great majority (75%) of the DMCA notifications received by UC Davis are the result of illegal sharing of movies and television shows. In the 2003-2004 academic year, only 4% of the DMCA notifications received were for music copyright violations. The most common offending files are blockbuster movies (e.g., Star Wars, Lord of the Rings) or popular television shows (e.g., The Simpsons).

In December 2004-January 2005, the RIAA contacted UC Davis, stating that the campus would be receiving two subpoenas to identify users who had infringed musical recordings on campus networks. Although UC Davis properly prepared for this, the campus has yet to receive the subpoenas. According to the NACUA listserv, other campuses also received such notices but also never received subpoenas. For more information about file sharing or copyright violations, please contact copyright@ucdavis.edu.