Universitywide Copyright Policies and Guidance

The University of California Electronic Communications Policy (ECP) prohibits the use of University computers, networks, or other resources for the purpose of illegally sharing copyrighted works. It specifically prohibits use of electronic communications resources for unlawful activities (see Section III.D.3. Restrictions).

Allowable Use

"The contents of all electronic communications shall conform to laws and University policies regarding protection of intellectual property, including laws and policies regarding copyright, patents, and trademarks." (section III.D.10. Intellectual Property) 

Violations of Law and Policy

"University policy prohibits the use of University property for illegal purposes and for purposes not in support of the mission of the University. In addition to legal sanctions, violators of this Policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or expulsion, pursuant to University policies and collective bargaining agreements." (section II.E.2. University Disciplinary Action)

Access Restriction

"In compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the University reserves the right to suspend or terminate use of University electronic communications systems and services by any user who repeatedly violates copyright law." (section III.E.)

Student Conduct Policy
Under the Universitywide Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline, illegal file-sharing of copyrighted materials is a violation that may be grounds for discipline.

  • “Chancellors may impose discipline for the commission or attempted commission…of the following types of violations….”  (section 102)
    • “Abuses include (but are not limited to) unauthorized entry, use, transfer, or tampering with the communications of others; interference with the work of others and with the operations of computer and electronic communications facilities, systems, and services; or copyright infringement (for example, the illegal file-sharing of copyrighted materials).  (section 102.5)

Additional Information
The Web sites listed below link to additional pertinent UC policies and provide explanatory information about those policies as well as US copyright law.