Consequences of Illegal Filesharing

There are three actions copyright holders typically take. Someone that shares copyrighted material illegally can face any number of these consequences in any order. That means you could face a lawsuit without first receiving a standard violation notice or a pre-settlement letter!

1. Standard DMCA Violation Notice (a.k.a. Take-down Notice)

A Standard Alleged DMCA Violation Notices is basically a warning message that does not contain a threat of legal action. It contains elements that can be associated with network use, and requests the university to "internally identify" and then forward the letter to the individual associated with those elements.

When the University receives a take-down notice, the machine responsible for the alleged DMCA violation is temporarily blocked from accessing ResNet. If the machine tries to access any web page from ResNet, it will be forwarded to a page notifying the user of the DMCA violation. In order to resume normal access to ResNet, the user must read the information presented on the warning page and click a button aknowledging that they have read and understand the presented material. A copy of the violation notice is also sent to University Housing and Food Service, and residents can expect to face disciplinary action with Student Judicial Affairs.

For more information regarding Chico State's process regarding standard DMCA violation notices, check out the DMCA Notice Resource Page.

2. Pre-settlement Letters Related to Alleged DMCA Violations

Pre-settlement notices began being delivered in March of 2007. This is a request from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), or another copyright holder or representative of a copyright holder. It contains elements that can be associated with network use, and requests the university to "internally identify" and then forward the letter to the individual associated with those elements. These letters provide the recipients with a limited time to contact the sender and pay a settlement fee. If the recipient chooses to not pay the fee, the sender will sue the recipient.

3. Lawsuit

A copyright holder can choose to bring civil lawsuit against alleged violators. This can result in substantial financial loss due to legal fees and paid damages depending on the outcome of the suit.