Copyright Compliance

Violations of copyright law are also violations of University policy. The federal regulations focusing on prohibiting the sharing of copyrighted information through electronic means are:

Requirements and procedures are in support of governing Columbia University Policies and CUIMC Information Security Procedures.


Anyone using University resources must not violate copyright legislation.

Peer-to-peer file sharing is prohibited on computers and devices that access, transmit and/or store data classified as sensitive.  Peer-to-peer applications can only be used under the following circumstances:

  1. There is valid business or academic need to use peer-to-peer, and there are no alternatives.
  2. Connected systems do not contain any sensitive data.
  3. IT support is contacted and verifies that applications are properly configured.
    1. Peer-to-peer applications cannot be set to automatically share files or allow files to be automatically discovered via network searches.
    2. The files that require sharing for business or academic need should be manually identified.
    3. No other files should be kept in the same directory that permits peer-to-peer access.


The various technology offices on campus do not routinely monitor network traffic for content, but they do monitor for unusual activities that can indicate hacking activities or other misuse of resources. On top of this, companies such as Sony and Time-Warner routinely survey computers and information online looking for individuals who, by providing video, music, or software files for download, are in violation of copyright laws.

Issues that indicate violation of copyright law and University copyright related policies will result in some if not all of the following:

In order for access to be restored, the following must be completed:

  1. Verify that the file(s) has been removed via independent means. Verification can be accomplished by visiting the Service Desk on in the Hammer Building LL-118.
  2. The acknowledgement letter attached to all copyright violating notifications must be signed and returned.
  3. Staff and faculty must provide an ARC chart string for the mandatory $141 fine.