Learn more about the DMCA Policy...

What type of disciplinary action will SUNY New Paltz take if a student breaks the New Paltz DMCA Policy?

SUNY New Paltz has a three strike policy (for greater detail, see “New Paltz DMCA Policy”):

Strike 1 – the student will be blocked from internet use until he or she affirms that he or she has ceased file sharing; at that time the connection will be restored.

Strike 2 – Same penalty as Strike 1; additionally, the matter will be referred to Student Affairs for disciplinary action.  At that point, a range of actions can be taken depending on the circumstances and the nature of the violation – see the student handbook for more specifics.

Strike 3 – The student’s internet connection will be permanently terminated and the matter will once again be referred to Student Affairs.

Will the strikes go away after each semester or school year?

No. Each strike remains until you are no longer a student at SUNY New Paltz.

What type of legal action will be taken against me in terms of the copyright holder?

Federal copyright law (Digital Millennium Copyright Act – DMCA) mandates that Internet Providers act on all copyright infringements reported to them.  The steps listed above are the limits of our enforcement.  The copyright holder, regardless of the college’s actions, may at any time seek damages from the infringer at their own discretion.  To date, no SUNY New Paltz student has had legal action brought against them by a copyright holder.

If I legally own the music on my computer, can I still be guilty of copyright infringement?

Yes. It is illegal to share copyrighted material with others even if you have a legal copy.

Can I get caught even if I’m not downloading anymore?

Yes. If you have a file sharing program that is still active on your computer, it could still be sharing files (music/movies) while you’re online.

Am I still responsible even though someone else shared files while I was logged on with my user ID?

Yes. You are responsible for any actions taken with the use of your user ID. For this reason it is important that you do not share your ID or password with others.

I don’t even have a computer, why did I get an infringement notice?

This may occur if you log on to a friend’s computer that is running a file sharing program while you are using it.

Will turning off Windows “Shared Documents” prevent sharing over the Internet?

No! Disabling Windows sharing only affects local sharing on the campus network. Other programs (see partial list) can still share files over the Internet.

What do I need to do to prevent an infringement from happening (or happening again)?

The sharing of all copyrighted material (music, movies, software, books and other intellectual property) is illegal, therefore it is important to disable any file sharing programs that may be sharing copyrighted material or remove such programs if sharing cannot be disabled.

I don’t know what programs could be sharing, is there a list of possible programs?

There are too many file sharing programs to create a comprehensive list , but here are a few of the most common programs:

AcquisitionMac OS X
BearFlixMicrosoft Windows
BearShare (Before Version 6)Microsoft Windows
Gnucleus/GnucDNAMicrosoft Windows
Gtk-gnutellaUnix-like, Mac OS X
iMeshMicrosoft Windows
KCeasyMicrosoft Windows
Kiwi AlphaMicrosoft Windows
MorpheusMicrosoft Windows
MP3 RocketJava
PoisonedMac OS X
ShareazaMicrosoft Windows
SymellaSymbian OS
XFactorMac OS X
Can anyone help me identify or disable my file sharing software?

Contact the Academic Computer Help Desk by phone at (845) 257-3597 or by email at  Or, you can visit the Help Desk in person (Humanities (HUM) 103).