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Protect yourself by learning which downloads are legal, which ones aren't, and the consequences that come with illegal downloading.

Downloading Do's and Don'ts:

The RIAA webpage provides a great list of do's and don'ts of downloading material on the internet. Below are just a few FAQ's pulled from their site that may be most important to you:


Legal alternatives for downloading:


UMA procedure for handling unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material

Part 1: The plan to effectively combat copyright infringement

1-1. Link to relevant Web page(s)
University of Maine at Augusta Copyright Site

1-2. What technology-based deterrent(s) have you decided to use?
A vigorous program of accepting and responding to DMCA notices.

1-3. What mechanism(s) are you using to educate your community?
Electronic Newsletter
We send an electronic newsletter to all registered students every semester, reminding them to know the institution's policy related to copyright infringement and that copyright infringement may subject them to civil and criminal penalties. In the newsletter, they are given the link to the institution's webpage that also includes a summary of the penalties for violating Federal copyright law, as well as a description of the institution's actions that are taken.

Student Handbook
Every semester, we send an email to all registered students, notifying them of the link to the student handbook. In this email, we highlight specific important polices that students need to know and direct them to the chapter in the student handbook pertaining to copyright infringement and that copyright infringement may subject them to civil and criminal penalties. This also has the link to our copyright site.

1-4. What procedures are you using for handling unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material (e.g., monitoring, sanctions, etc.)?

  1. As a part of its compliance with federal copyright law, The University of Maine at Augusta deploys a procedure to respond to notices of copyright violation by copyright holders. This procedure operates as follows:
  2. The Digital Millennium Copyright Agent for the University of Maine system requests that the UMA IT staff disable the Internet Protocol (IP) address alleged by the notice to be in violation of federal law.
  3. One of the IT staff members researches the request and if applicable, disables the (IP) address assigned to the laptop of the alleged violation and notifies the Director of Computer Services.
  4. The Director of Computer Services then notifies the user or responsible party with an email detailing our procedures. The user must bring the laptop in question to the IT department in either Augusta or Bangor so the IT staff can verify the material has been deleted, in order to regain network access. Students are asked to read the UMA copyright site and are warned what happens upon a second offense.
  5. Second offenses trigger an automatic referral to the Student Conduct Officer.

1-5. How are you periodically reviewing the plan? What criteria are you using to determine if it is effectively combating copyright infringement?
Our response procedures are continually reviewed for effectiveness and relevance


Part 2: Offering Alternatives

2-1. Link to relevant Web page(s)

2-2. Are you carrying out your own survey of alternatives or linking to one or more lists maintained by others?  If the latter, which list(s)?
Linking to:

2-3. Have you made any special arrangements with one or more content providers to obtain content through legal methods?
Ruckus was used until they went out of business on February 6, 2009.


Part 3: Informing the Community

3-1. Link to relevant Web page(s)
The University of Maine at Augusta Copyright Site includes copyright references and links to copyright issues in education.

3-2. Have you developed your own statement regarding copyright and copyright law in general or are you linking to such statement(s) maintained by others? If the latter, which statement(s)?
UMA developed our own statements.