Dowling College has received a notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 United States Code Section 512) claiming that copyrighted material is residing and being shared at an IP address registered to you. The notice resembles the example below (click here). (This is only a sample.)

This is a serious allegation. Infringement is actionable under federal copyright law and can result in the payment of damages of up to $30,000 per infringing use. Damages could be increased to $150,000 if the infringement is found to be willful. Criminal penalties are also possible.

Respect for intellectual property ownership is a fundamental value in academia. Copyright infringement is against the law and is also a violation of Dowling College Policy on Acceptable Use of Computing Resources. Dowling College does not tolerate conduct that violates or infringes the rights of copyright owners.

Your PC is currently being blocked from accessing the internet, but you should still be able to reach on-campus servers like email, Blackboard, and Student Records. You must take action now to prevent total loss of network access and possible additional sanctions.

You must make an appointment with Helen Bausenwein in the Residence Life Office at (631) 244-3017. At this meeting:

  1. You will receive a copy of the copyright infringement notice received by the College,
  2. You must sign a statement indicating that you will remove the referenced file(s) and any other copyright-protected files from your computer (see below),
  3. You must sign a copy of the Dowling College Policy on Acceptable Use of Computing Resources (see below) in order to indicate that you understand said policy and will adhere to it.

If you fail to respond promptly your PC will be de-registered and will be blocked from all network access. You may face other administrative or legal penalties as well. Dowling must take these steps in order to avail itself of the legal protection afforded service providers under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

If you believe you have received this notice by mistake or that it is in factual error, please check your peer-to-peer software nonetheless to ensure that you are not sharing files to other users. You also may have had a breach of security on your computer. Copyright infringement MUST be remedied, to guard against liability to Dowling, to protect the security of the Dowling networks, and to protect the private data on your PC.

Note: in most cases copyright infringement notices are a result of the downloading of music or video files. These files are then available for uploading via searches through file-sharing software installed on your computer. Copyright owners conduct scans of the internet which may detect that your PC is offering their copyrighted works to other users. They then send a formal "cease and desist" notice to Dowling, which obligates Dowling to prevent you from sharing their works.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter,

Troy Bohlander
Assistant Director of Residence Life


Student ID#
  1. I have read and will abide by the Dowling College Policy on Acceptable Use of Computing Resources.
  2. I will discontinue sharing the copyrighted material referenced in DMCA/RIAA case# ___________
  3. I will discontinue sharing ALL copyrighted material from my computer.

Signature: ___________________________________

Here are some FAQ's that you might wish to consider (assumes Windows XP Home or Professional):

What information should I bring to the meeting?

What will happen at this meeting?

What should I do if I'm using a P2P program and want to get rid of it?

If a program has an "uninstaller" you should try to use that first. Be aware that some applications install spyware that will cause your computer to not access the internet if they are removed by Add/Remove Programs.

If you cannot find an uninstaller, click Start, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs, select the Peer-to-Peer program, and click Remove.


July 16, 2004

John Doe
Dowling College
025 Fortunoff Hall Idle Hour Blvd.
Oakdale, NY  11769  US

Re: Copyright infringement at IP address: 149.72.62.xxx on 16 Jul 2004 09:35:2 EDT (GMT -0400)

Dear Mr. Doe:

I am contacting you on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. (RIAA) and its member record companies. The RIAA is a trade association whose member companies create, manufacture, and distribute approximately ninety (90) percent of all legitimate sound recordings sold in the United States. Under penalty of perjury, we submit that the RIAA is authorized to act on behalf of its member companies in matters involving the infringement of their sound recordings, including enforcing their copyrights and common law rights on the Internet.

We believe a user on your network, using the above referenced IP address, is offering 88 files for download through a peer to peer application. Many of these files contain copyrighted sound recordings that are owned by our member companies. For your reference we have included a representative list of some of the infringing sound recordings being offered at the above IP address.

We have a good faith belief that the above-described activity is not authorized by copyright owners, their agent, or the law. We are asking for your immediate assistance in stopping this unauthorized activity. Specifically, we request that you remove or disable access to the infringing sound files via your system.

We believe it is in everyone's interest for music consumers to be better educated about the subject of copyright law and music. In addition to taking steps to notify this network user about the illegal nature of this activity, we encourage you to refer him/her to the MUSIC Coalition's website at www.musicunited.org. The site contains valuable information about what's legal and what's not when it comes to copying music.

You should understand that this letter constitutes notice to you that this network user may be liable for the infringing activity occurring on your network. In addition, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, if you ignore this notice, your institution may also be liable for any resulting infringement. This letter does not constitute a waiver of any right to recover damages incurred by virtue of any such unauthorized activities, and such rights as well as claims for other relief are expressly retained. Moreover, this letter does not constitute a waiver of our members' right to sue the user at issue for copyright infringement.

Thank you in advance for your prompt assistance in this matter. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail at antipiracy2@riaa.com, via telephone at (202) 775-0101, or via mail at RIAA, 1330 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, D.C., 20036. Please reference Case ID 374xxxx in any response or communication regarding this infringement.


Online Copyright Protection Department

Site Details:
Date Found: 16 Jul 2004 09:35:2 EDT (GMT -0400)
Network: KaZaA
IP Address: 149.72.62.xxx
Port: 1976
Protocol: FastTrackUS
UserName: [username deleted]@KaZaA

Title: I Will Never Be The Same
	File Name: Mellisa Ethridge - I will never be the same.mp3
	File Size: 4501504
	Artist: Melissa Etheridge
	Length: 4 minutes 41 seconds 
	Album: Yes I Am
	Genre: rock
	Quality: 128

Title: No More I Love You's
	File Name: Annie Lenox-No More I Love You's.mp3
	File Size: 4687540
	Artist: Annie Lennox
	Length: 4 minutes 53 seconds 
	Album: Medusa
	Genre: Rock
	Quality: 128

Title: Life Goes On
	File Name: LeAnn Rimes - Life Goes On (1).mp3
	File Size: 5200456
	Artist: LeAnne Rhymes
	Length: 5 minutes 34 seconds 
	Album: Twisted Angel
	Language: en
	Keyword: leann rimes, life goes on, twisted angel
	Genre: Pop
	Quality: 128
	Description: xxl

Dowling College
Policy on Acceptable Use of Computing Resources

The Dowling College Policy for use of computing resources applies to all users including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests of the college. Computing resources comprise all computers, related equipment, software, data, and local area and wide area networks for which the college is responsible, as well as networks throughout the world to which the college provides computer access. The purpose of Dowling College's computing resources is to support research and education and the general purposes of the College. Use of computing resources must be in support of education and research and be consistent with the educational and other stated objectives of the College.

The computing resources of Dowling College are intended to be used for its programs of instruction and research, and to conduct the legitimate business of the college. The College's computing resources shall not be used for commercial, profit or corporate activities unrelated to the College. Use of the computing resources for partisan political activity or lobbying is prohibited. Further, the portrayal or transmission of any information, in any manner that appears or can be construed as, being sponsored by the College without specific permission or authority is expressly prohibited.

All users must:

In addition to the policy contained herein, usage must be in accordance with applicable Dowling College policies and applicable State and Federal laws relating to copyright protection, trade secrets and licensing. Among the related laws are the Federal Computer Abuse Amendment Act 1994, the Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the U.S. Copyright Act.

Fraudulent use of the computing resources is strictly prohibited. Fraudulent use includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Additional policy violations generally fall into five categories that involve the use of computing resources:

Examples (not a comprehensive list) of policy violations related to the above five categories include:

Violations of this policy will be addressed by the appropriate procedures and agents (e.g., the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Business and Finance, the Office of Student Services, the Office of Human Resources, or the Office of Development) depending on the individual's affiliation to the College.

Each user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Dowling College, the Board of Trustees, agents, and employees of Dowling College from and against any claim, lawsuit, cause of action, damage judgement, or administration complaint arising out o the use of Dowling College hardware, software, and computing resources under this policy.

Dowling College makes absolutely no warranties of any kind, neither expressed or implied, for the services it is providing. The College is not responsible for loss of documents, data, or personal information as a result of system failure, hardware malfunction, or faults incurred by the network or computing resources.

Dowling College reserves the right to restrict, limit, grant, rescind or extend computing privileges and access to its computing resources, to any or all individuals and / or organizations.