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Copyright Policies, Files Sharing & Legal Entertainment Online

Columbia University Expectations


Students, Faculty, and Staff are expected to abide by both Copyright Laws and University Policies. These expectations and resources are listed below.

Responding to Copyright Violations


When Columbia University Information Technology (CUIT) receives notification that a CC, SEAS, or GS student has allegedly illegally downloaded material from the internet, CUIT staff notifies the Office of Judicial Affairs and Community Standards (OJA) of the report. The OJA determines how to respond to the allegation based on whether the student has a prior disciplinary record.

First Time Offenders

If the allegation is the first of such allegations against a particular student, the OJA will send the student a letter notifying him/her of the serious potential consequences of continuing to engage in the behavior. In addition, the letter informs the student that if any subsequent reports are given to the OJA, a Dean’s Discipline hearing will be held to discuss the incident.

Second Time Offenders

If the allegation is a second allegation the student will be notified in writing that it is alleged that they have engaged in the violation of copyright laws and therefore a Dean’s Discipline hearing has been scheduled to discuss the incident. The student is then expected to appear at the hearing to discuss the allegation.

If a student is found responsible for illegally downloading materials, he/she generally will be assigned the sanction of Conditional Disciplinary Probation and asked to complete an educational project related to copyright law.

Third Time Offenders

If the allegation is a third allegation the student will be subject to a second Dean’s Discipline hearing to discuss the incident.

If a student is found responsible for a third violation of copyright laws, significant consequences will result. They may include, but are not limited to, the sanction/status of Disciplinary Probation or Deferred Disciplinary Suspension from the University.

Fourth Time Offenders

If the allegation is a fourth allegation the student will be subject to a third Dean’s Discipline hearing to discuss the incident.

If a student is found responsible for a fourth violation of copyright laws, significant consequences will result. They may include, but are not limited to, the sanction/status of Disciplinary Suspension from the University.

Judicial Affairs and Community Standards

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