Copyright Infringement, Settlement Letters, and Preservation Notices Procedures
These procedures are designed to bring awareness to students and the university community about copyright infringement. The sharing of these procedures is not an indication that copyright infringement has occurred. Entities outside of The New School actively work to prevent illegal downloading and file sharing of copyrighted material. If they discover university resources are being used to do this, they will notify the university and initiate legal action. These procedures should serve as an alert to anyone who is knowingly engaged in illegal downloading and file sharing, and also serve as a guide as to the university’s response. The university’s goal is to educate students and others about this issue and provide information to help students and others avoid copyright infringement.
Third parties send campus Internet Service Providers (ISP) “copyright infringement” and "settlement letters" with the Internet Protocol addresses of alleged offenders requesting that the ISP forward the letters to users whom they allege have infringed upon copyrighted material.
I - How The New School (TNS) responds to these notices:
1. COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT AND SETTLEMENT LETTERS:
a. Copyright infringement is the act of copying the contents of someone else’s work, including but not limited
to literary works, musical works, dramatic works, motion pictures, and other audiovisual works and sound
b. If TNS receives a copyright infringement or settlement notice from a third party, the IT Department will
identify the allegedly offending user, disable that user's network access until the occurrence is fully
investigated, and forward the settlement letter to that user. In addition, both the Office of Student Services and
Legal Affairs will be notified of the allegation. The alleged user will convene with the Office of Student Services to
review the allegation.
c. TNS will never disclose the name of, or other identifying information pertaining to a third party or the holder of
the copyright without a legally issued subpoena.
2. PRESERVATION NOTICES:
a. A preservation notice is a communication that suspends the normal processing of records; this notice usually
precedes the issuance of a subpoena.
b. If TNS receives a preservation notice from a third party, TNS will preserve identifying information relating to
the allegedly offending user. TNS will notify the allegedly offending user that such action has been taken.
3. RELEASE OF STUDENT INFORMATION:
a. If the offender does not respond to the settlement letter, the holder of the copyright may possibly file suit
against you as a "John Doe" or "Jane Doe," and subsequently serve TNS with a subpoena to obtain information
revealing your identity. If served with a legally issued subpoena, TNS shall comply with the subpoena and supply
the information requested therein, which will undoubtedly include the identity of the user of the infringing IP
address (see Section II Regulations FERPA for more information).
b. Unless served with a proper subpoena, TNS will not disclose the name of, or other identifying information
pertaining to, the user to the RIAA or the holder of the copyright.
II - Regulations:
1. HEOA – HIGHER EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY ACT:
a. As part of this regulation The New School will take the following proactive measures to maintain its
i. Bandwidth shaping.
ii. Traffic monitoring to identify the largest bandwidth users.
iii. A vigorous program of responding to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices.
iv. Utilizing intrusion prevention to reduce or block illegal file transfer and sharing.
a. The Family and Education Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA") affords you limited protection with regard to a
subpoena. FERPA provides that an institution served with a lawfully issued subpoena must notify the student of
its receipt of the subpoena in advance of compliance so that the student may seek a protective court order. If
the student does not seek a protective order, or is unsuccessful in obtaining such an order, the institution
must respond to the subpoena.
III – Information:
a. Please be advised that TNS will not be a party to any legal action instituted by the copyright holder against the
user, and will not provide legal assistance to that user. If you receive a settlement letter from a third party, it is
your responsibility alone to determine the manner in which you will respond. You may wish to consult with
legal counsel of your choosing before responding to the settlement letter.
2. SUMMARY OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF FEDERAL COPYRIGHT LAWS:
a. 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 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
b. 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. For "willful" infringement, a court may award
up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For
details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.
c. 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.
d. For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially
their FAQ's at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.
a. Since I received this letter/email from TNS about the RIAA settlement letters, does that mean the RIAA is
alleging I downloaded music illegally?
No. This letter was an open letter/email to all TNS students about the increased efforts of the Recording
Industry Association of America (RIAA) to halt copyright infringement and illegal music downloading on college
campuses. Further, the letter is intended to clarify TNS’s response to any such settlement letters or
b. What should I do if I receive a settlement letter from the RIAA?
TNS cannot advise you on the course of action that is in your best interest should you receive a settlement
letter from the RIAA. TNS strongly encourages that if you have any questions about a settlement letter, you
should consult with legal counsel of your own choosing who is knowledgeable about copyright law.
c. Where can I get more information?
These are a few links to help:
2. www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/CSD4832.pdf (Sample settlement letter)