On 1 September 2011 the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Act 2011 came into force.
This legislation has significant implications for staff and students of the University. The downloading of infringing content by staff and students is a breach of the Act and exposes both the University and the individual to potential liability.
Much material available on the internet is protected by “copyright”. You must not download material from the Internet which is protected by copyright unless it is permitted under the fair dealing provisions of the Act, a creative commons licence or via commercial licences signed by the University. The Library's electronic collections are copyrighted but information can be downloaded legally within the terms of each of the specific contracts signed with individual publishers.
The University of Auckland does not permit the use of file sharing applications other than for legitimate educational or administrative purposes. Examples of file sharing software are: Shareaza, BitTorrent, Ares, Kazaa, Limewire, BearShare and eMule. Inadvertent infringing file sharing may occur if you have a file sharing application running on your personal device and connect to the University’s ICT network. If you are using file sharing applications you must ensure the use will not breach copyright or the University’s ICT Statute. Further information on the ICT Statute can be found on the University’s policy register website.
In compliance with the legislation, the University will notify the relevant staff member or student of complaints received from rights owners. Most complaints involve downloading pirated movies, software, games and television shows posted on the Internet without the permission of the copyright owners. Those notified will be asked to provide an explanation and may have their access to the network temporarily removed. A staff member or student who receives three separate notices from the same rights owner may be required to appear before the Copyright Tribunal which can impose a penalty of up to $15,000.
The University will continue to monitor its networks for evidence of possible infringing file sharing. The University will normally take disciplinary action against staff and students who download infringing material on more than one occasion. Such action may include exclusion of a user from the system for a specified period; referral to the Discipline Committee; or the disciplinary provisions of a staff membersemployment agreement. The range of penalties provided for in the Disciplinary Statute and the ICT Statute include termination of access to the IT network, termination of enrolment or, orders for the payment of restitution. Serious repeat infringements may result in the termination of employment in the case of staff or termination of enrolment in the case of students.
Further information on the legislation can be found on the Ministry of Economic Development website.