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Welcome to the website of the Internet and Intellectual Property Justice Clinic, a University of San Francisco School of Law clinical program that provides legal assistance to parties in intellectual property matters. For more information, see the "About Us" page.

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UC Berkeley, Stanford crack down on illegal downloading

College students beware: Universities are ratcheting up punishments for illegally downloading music and video from your dorm rooms this school year in an effort to tamp down the popular pastime.

Stanford University and UC Berkeley are among schools that have added teeth to their policies to make students think twice about violating copyright laws. The hope, in part, is to keep students from being sued by Hollywood studios, which consider online piracy a threat to their business and are sparing little expense to track down people who illicitly share songs, television shows and films.

The penalties are an acknowledgment by the schools that they have been largely ineffective at keeping students from online file-sharing services like Limewire, Ares and Gnutella, where music by top artists can be swapped for free.

Stanford started a program on Saturday that financially hits students who go astray. If students fail to remove illegal digital downloads from their computers within 48 hours of being asked to do so, the university will sever their campus Internet connections, and they will have to pay $100 to get them restored.

A second offense will require a $500 reconnection fee. A third infraction will cost students $1,000.

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