Copyright and computer security

Copyright and filesharing

It is illegal and against University regulations to share movies, music, software and other copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder.

This applies to filesharing internal to ResNet or across the wider Internet. We receive regular legal complaints from record companies, movie studios, and software publishers. If you share files and we receive a complaint we will suspend your network connection immediately.

  • If you are a member of the University you will be reconnected after signing an undertaking not to break University regulations again.
  • If you are not a member of the University but have been permitted to use our network on a temporary basis then disconnection is permanent. No refund of subscription fees will be made.

Nearly all material on filesharing networks is reproduced illegally. Do not use filesharing software or any other means to transfer movies, software and music without permission. The best and safest way to avoid problems is to uninstall all filesharing software (eg Bittorrent, eDonkey and eMule) now.

If we receive a complaint

Music labels, TV companies, film studios and software publishers monitor the use of filesharing networks and report copyright infringement to the ISPs. If we receive a complaint relating to your network connection this is treated as a breach of university regulations and sanctions are imposed as per our procedure for handling copyright complaints.

Viruses and computer security

Connecting a computer to the Internet is dangerous. If your computer is not up to date with the right security patches and anti-virus software you will get infected by a virus. Your computer could be taken over and used to send spam by remote control. Organised criminals launch attacks to steal your credit card numbers or banking details.

To protect your computer from viruses and other security problems you must meet the requirements to connect to ResNet. These include:

  • Install the latest Service Pack and all available security updates from Microsoft Update <http://update.microsoft.com>. Enable Automatic Updates.
  • Make sure your firewall is enabled.
  • Install the anti-virus software provided by the University.

More detailed advice is available in the ResNet security section <http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/security>

Even with updates and antivirus software you still need to be careful and cautious. Always remember:

  • Make regular backups of your work and other data (eg to an external USB hard disk) and store the backup safely.
  • Be suspicious when using the Internet. Don't click on attachments or links in email and instant messages which you are not expecting. If in doubt ask the person who apparently sent you the message, or ask the help desk.

If your computer is infected by a virus or is insecure and vulnerable to infection

We will disconnect infected or vulnerable computers in order to protect other network users.

  • If you are a member of the University you must clean and update your computer (we can provide tools to help with this). You can then continue using the network if your system is shown to be secure. We may charge a reconnection fee, especially if you had been negligent in not keeping your computer safe and up to date.
  • If you are not a member of the University disconnection is permanent. You will not be reconnected to the network and no refund of subscription fees will be made.