Why You Should Care:
Because you're a responsible adult who respects others and their possessions, PLUS, copyright holders take legal action against copyright infringers.
What You Can Do:
- Don't take what isn't yours
If it belongs to someone else and you take it - whether it's words, software, music or video - it's illegal as well as unethical. It's also against policy (see Brown's Copyright Infringement Policy) and Brown's Academic Code.
- Stay legal and out of court
Major copyright-holders from the recording and movie industries are aggressively monitoring the Internet for infringing activity and taking legal action (including lawsuits) against those who violate copyright law, often targeting higher education institutions. College students therefore make up a significant percentage of those being sued, usually by the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA). Visit their About Copyright Notices page for details on what to do if you get caught and receive a notice.
- Use legal media sources.
Visit Legal Alternatives for Online Music and Movies for a list of ideas.
- Don't borrow someone's passwords
Passwords are like toothbrushes. You wouldn't share them, would you? And as toothbrushes help to protect your teeth, passwords protect access to important, often personal, information about you.
To learn how to create a good, strong password, please review the Computing Passwords Policy (which also states that sharing is a violation of Brown policy).