A Note About Copyright and Information Security At Penn State

08 Sep

In an email from the Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney Erickson:

Dear Penn State Student:

Welcome to the start of Fall Semester 2008.

As a student at Penn State you have many resources to help protect your privacy,
your personal computer, and your good standing as a student at the University.

You will want to be sure that you have installed anti-virus and anti-spyware
software to protect your computer. Both are available at no charge at

>. Additional safe computing tips can be found at
Penn State’s Take Control Web site at <>.

Respect for intellectual property is an important value at Penn State. Although
it may seem easy to obtain music, movies, and other materials while surfing the
net, you must be absolutely certain that the items you wish to download can be
acquired legally. The unauthorized downloading of copyrighted material is
against federal and state laws – and is a violation of University policy.

Penn State makes it easy for you to access a wide range of legal digital media
24/7 through Ruckus. Any student who has a valid Penn State e-mail address has
free unlimited access to more than 4 million songs. In addition, you can connect
to a variety of college-oriented social networks, and have the option to
purchase unlimited video downloads. Visit <> to get
started with Ruckus.

If you are found downloading or distributing illegal media you may lose network
access privileges at Penn State, and may face the possibility of a lawsuit from
agencies such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) or the
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). For the most serious offenders,
criminal charges can result as well. (See RIAA copyright infringement
allegations at <>). I urge you to
think carefully about these risks and avoid downloading illegal media of any
kind. You can find tips and resources at <>.

Respect for copyright is an important part of academic integrity at Penn State.
Academic dishonesty can have serious implications for your future employment
opportunities. You can learn how to use other people’s materials appropriately
at <>. I encourage you to take time to learn more about
this issue at <>.

I wish you a great academic year, and urge you to resist illegal downloading or
file sharing.


Rodney A. Erickson

Personally I find it odd that this email is being sent right now. Why not send it out when school started on August 25? Regardless, the email gives some good information, especially pertaining to Penn State. More will follow on the topics discussed in this email to Penn State Students.
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Posted by on September 8, 2008 in Security


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