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Additional Policies and Procedures

Downloading of Music, Movies, Software, and Other Copyright Protected Intellectual Property

The University’s policy "Regarding the Use of Technology and Information Resources" can be found online. The policy states that all users of the University’s network must "Comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and University policy." This includes United States Copyright Law. U.S. copyright law forbids downloading and/or distributing copyright protected intellectual property. In practice this means that a student may not use peer-to-peer (P2P) software to download music, television programs, movies, or software nor can they distributes such products from their computers through such software, unless they have obtained the an appropriate license or authorization to do so from the owner of the copyrighted material.

Enforcement Procedures

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 requires the University to receive complaints from owners of intellectual property who allege that a user of the University’s network is illegally downloading or making their intellectual property available to others. The University has a uniform procedure for receiving and examining these complaints. When a complaint can be linked to a specific network user’s computer, the University notifies that user. The user must then comply with procedures that include bringing his or her computer to the Help Desk in Jepson Hall to have P2P software uninstalled, to meet with the University’s DMCA agent, and to meet with a representative of the dean’s office in his or her school.

Disciplinary Action

At their discretion, the deans’ offices can take disciplinary action. These may include:

A first offense
  • Disciplinary Warning through Graduation
  • Other – Any future DMCA violation will result in loss of network privileges.
  • Optional Sanction – Community Service

A second offense

  • Conduct Probation for a period of one semester
  • Signed agreement that states that the student knows their access to the network is:
    • Limited to public access computers only
    • Student looses access to wireless and data port in their room
    • Any further violation will result in permanent loss of network access.
  • Optional Sanction – Community Service

A third offense

  • Conduct Probation for period of one academic year
  • Loss of network access or more restricted/limited access
  • Optional Sanction – Community Service 

Summary of Federal Criminal and Civil Penalties: Federal law allows for much more severe penalties for illegal downloading. Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States 39 Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorney’s fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504 and 505.

Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. If a copyright owner sues a student, that student will be responsible for all fees incurred in any legal or judicial proceedings related to that lawsuit.

For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office, especially their FAQ’s.

Legal Alternatives for Downloading

Numerous legal alternatives to downloading are listed at "Legal Sources of Online Content" and at "Streaming Audio and Video."

Gambling Policy

Gambling is not permitted on the University of Richmond campus, in any University facility, or at any University sponsored event or function. This prohibition does not extend to bingo games, raffles, duck races, and charitable gambling conducted and authorized in accordance with Virginia law.

The University defines gambling as the making, placing or receipt, of any bet or wager of money or other thing of value, made in exchange for a chance to win a prize, stake, or other consideration or thing of value, dependent upon the result of any game, contest or any other event the outcome of which is uncertain or a matter of chance, whether such game, contest, or event, occurs or is to occurs on or off the University campus. This means that Internet gambling from University facilities and residences is also prohibited. 

Any student found to be engaged in gambling will be subject to disciplinary action.

Medical Assistance Protocol

Any student at the University of Richmond who receives emergency medical attention related to their consumption of alcohol shall not be charged with a violation of the University Alcohol Policy, provided the following conditions are met:

  1. The student meets with a representative of their respective Coordinate College Dean’s Office to discuss the incident and the impact of their choices; and
  2. The student completes any required alcohol education requirement prescribed by the dean’s office.

The purpose of the Medical Assistance Protocol is to safeguard the wellbeing and safety of a student who may need assistance due to the overconsumption of alcohol. Accordingly, should it appear that a student has an alcohol addiction or is abusing the privilege of the Medical Assistance Protocol, that student’s dean has the right to revoke the student’s ability to utilize the Protocol. The student shall be notified in writing prior to the privilege being revoked. 

Additionally, the dean’s office is compelled to notify the parents of any student who requires medical attention due to the over consumption of alcohol by local, state, and federal law.

Responsible Action Protocol
Any student (or students) at the University of Richmond who renders aid to a student requiring emergency medical attention related to their consumption of alcohol shall not be charged with a violation of the University Alcohol Policy, provided the following conditions are met:
  1. The student(s) are the first to contact emergency officials by dialing 8911 (on campus) or 911 (off campus) to report that a person is in need of assistance due to alcohol consumption;
  2. The student(s) remain with the individual(s) needing emergency treatment and cooperate with emergency officials, so long as it is safe to do so; and
  3. The student(s) meet with appropriate University officials after the incident and cooperate with any University follow-up.

The University will consider the positive impact of taking responsible action in an emergency situation when determining the appropriate response for alleged policy violations by the reporting student that may have occurred prior to or contemporaneously with the emergency situation. If a student or students meet the conditions of the Responsible Action Protocol, no University disciplinary action will be taken and no disciplinary sanctions will be imposed. However, the incident will be documented, and educational, community, and health initiatives may be required.

The Responsible Action Protocol does not preclude or prevent action by police or other legal authorities.

There is no limit to the number of times the Responsible Action Protocol can be invoked.

Failure of students to take responsible actions in an emergency situation, however, may void all protections under this provision, may constitute an aggravating factor for purposes of sanctioning, and may lead to further disciplinary actions when such failure to act otherwise constitutes a violation of University rules, regulations or policies.