Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use this content piracy reporting form to report an organization that is not a corporation?
Yes. The form can be used to report organizations of any kind. The form should be used to report the illegal distribution or use of pirated content within a company, a school, a trade association, or any other kind of organization.
What does SIIA do with the report I provide?
We will review the report and promptly follow up with a questionnaire asking you some additional questions that are important to our investigation. Once we collect all the information we need, we review the report for accuracy, reliability, completeness, and timeliness. Our approach is very conservative -- we will only pursue a case where we feel very confident that we have reliable and extensive information that the target organization is using illegal or unlicensed content. Once we decide to pursue a case, SIIA’s counsel contacts the president or other high-ranking officer at the company to request that the company conduct a voluntary investigation. The company provides SIIA with the results of the investigation. The company will also provide SIIA with documentation to try and prove that it has sufficient licenses for the content. If unauthorized content use or distribution is found SIIA will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the company based on the illegal content found. If no unauthorized content is found, the case is closed. If the company refuses to conduct an investigation, SIIA may sue the company for copyright infringement on behalf of its members. This entire process may take as long as 18 months.
If I report content piracy to SIIA, will you tell my employer?
No. SIIA has a long-standing policy of protecting the confidentiality of those who report to us. We will not reveal the name, or any identifying information, about the reporting source unless we are required to by a law enforcement authority or court. We have never had to reveal the identity of a source that wishes to be anonymous. Therefore, at a minimum we strongly encourage you to give us your email address and contact information in case a question comes up during the course of our investigation.
How can I get a reward for reporting content piracy?
First, make sure you provide us with an email address when you complete the content piracy report. Also, when we send you a follow up questionnaire please complete the questionnaire and send it back to us and soon as possible so we can begin investigating the case. To determine whether you are eligible for a report we urge you to review the eligibility requirements, which can be found at http://www.siia.net/piracy/report/tos.asp
How much money can I get through SIIA’s reward program for reporting content piracy?
If you are eligible for a reward, the dollar amount of the reward will vary depending on how much the case is settled for, but will be consistent with the guidelines below.
||Potential Reward Amount
||up to $5,000
|Over $20 million
Please note that SIIA’s Reward Program only applies to cases of content piracy taking place within an organization, and not to Internet piracy.
How long does it take SIIA to investigate a company that has been reported?
The length of an investigation could vary greatly depending upon the individual circumstances of the case and the level of cooperation from the company we are investigating. Generally, cases may be pending for nine months to as long as two years.
Can I get a status report on how the case is progressing?
To get an update simply call our anti-piracy hotline at (800) 388-7478
or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
. If you have previously made a report to SIIA and become aware of any additional information in the case that might be helpful you should contact us immediately with the new information.
What are the most common ways in which content is infringed within a company?
Many people who infringe copyright may be unaware they are doing anything illegal. Some illegal practices are so widespread that most people don't even think about whether or not they are legal. Therefore, we have built a list of some of the most common ways in which content is infringed, focusing on those methods principally employed by business users.
Photocopying: Photocopiers have been around a long time (at least in comparison to the Internet), and people are accustomed to using them for all sorts of tasks, some of which may violate copyright. Remember that a copy is a copy and the exclusive right to copy belongs to the copyright holder. Even if you have legally purchased a copy of a work, that does not give you the right to make photocopies of it. Before you head to the copy room, ask yourself where your original document came from and whether you have permission from the copyright holder to make another one.
Printing: While users don't normally think of sending a file to a printer as making a copy in the same way as using a photocopier does, the same principles apply. The only difference is that in one case the original copy is printed on paper and in the other it's a digital file. Many content publishers place limits on the number of times a particular work may be printed under the usage license. Other content, such as a publicly-accessible web page, is usually safe to print. Be sure to check the limitations on the content you're working with to make sure that such a normal, mundane process as sending it to a printer does not violate someone's copyright.
Scanning: While photocopying and printing can create an unauthorized physical copy of a document, scanning can create an unauthorized digital copy. You don't have to be able to hold the copy in your hand in order to violate the author's exclusive right to copy. As with photocopying and printing, before going to the scanner you should always ask yourself whether you have the right to make a digital copy of someone else's document.
E-mail: There are various ways to infringe copyright via e-mail. E-mail is a fast and easy way to distribute information and therefore is a fast and easy way to violate a copyright owner's right to distribution. This could be done by attaching a copy-even a legally obtained copy-of a file to an e-mail, or even by copying and pasting text into the body of an e-mail. Probably all of us have infringed someone's copyright through e-mail, but one should be particularly careful in the case of proprietary information – information that is obtained only through paid subscription. Pay particular attention to copyright notices and warnings on e-mails you receive and on any attachments you send.
Password Sharing: A common type of license violation is the sharing of passwords. Often, when a publisher sells subscriptions to proprietary content, it is protected by a password feature. When a user shares his password with another person who has not paid to view the content, he is at the very least violating the contract under which the password was supplied, and is possibly also violating the copyright right to distribution. Publishers depend on selling multiple subscriptions in order to pay for the content you receive. Unless your license specifically states otherwise, you should have a separate subscription-and therefore a separate password-for each person who will be accessing the content. Sharing passwords is just as wrong as sharing copies.
Networking: A user can infringe copyright by posting content on a public or private network for others to access. If the content is offered only on a subscription basis, and is meant only for one person, then placing the content on a network has the same effect as sharing passwords because it gives access to more people than are licensed. But even more specifically, placing an item on a network for others to access can be tantamount to distribution, in violation of the exclusive right to distribution held by the copyright owner. This holds true even if the network is not a public one. Sharing the content even with your own co-workers is still a violation of copyright. Indeed, most of the content infringement that goes on in the workplace is unauthorized intra-office sharing.