Policy for Compliance with Copyright Infringement as Related to the Higher Education Opportunity Act

Copyright

PURPOSE

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) was signed into law on August 14, 2008. A portion of it is aimed at combating unauthorized file sharing and copyright infringement on university networks. Specifically, all colleges and universities must meet three general requirements:

  • An annual disclosure to students describing copyright law and campus policies related to violating copyright law.
  • A plan to "effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials" by users of its network, including "the use of one or more technology-based deterrents".
  • A plan to "offer alternatives to illegal downloading".

The following sections provide information on Barry University’s adherence to the requirements.

POLICY

Annual Disclosure

The annual disclosure requires a description of institutional policies and sanctions related to the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. This description includes:

  1. An annual disclosure that explicitly informs students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities.
  2. A summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws.
  3. The institution’s policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution’s information technology system.

Below is the information that will be sent to students via e-mail to their university e-mail address at the beginning of each academic year in the fall. In addition to the three items listed above, information on the Plan to Effectively Combat Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Materials, as well as Alternatives to Illegal Downloading, will be included.

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Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.

Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

Copyright Law of the United States, including penalties for violation, is available from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Some copyright owners search for copyright infringement on-line, and when an infringement is found, send notices to the Online Service Provider (OSP) hosting the user. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Barry University is an OSP. As such, Barry University is required to remove the material in a timely manner when a DMCA complaint is sent to its registered agent, which prevents the University from being held liable for the infringement.

In recent years, with so many individuals illegally sharing music on-line, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) began aggressively searching for individuals illegally sharing music. Notices of the copyright infringement(s) were sent to the Online Service Provider. In addition, OSP’s were sent preservation notices, which asked the identifying information (e.g. IP address) be preserved. The preservation notice also indicated a settlement letter addressed to the individual who allegedly made the infringement would be sent, and asked that it be forwarded on to him/her. If the individual responded to the letter and settled the claim, there would be no need to serve a subpoena requesting the individual’s name and contact information.

Violations - DMCA Compliance and Action

Barry University will act on DMCA notices received by its agent. Unauthorized use of copyrighted material will be removed expeditiously. For those who engage in copyright infringement, the following will be enforced.

Students

First Violation

  1. A Copyright Violation Notice will be sent to the student’s Barry e-mail account, which will need to be printed, signed, and returned to the IT Support Desk in Library 226.
  2. Access to BarryNet via the residence halls and wireless will be denied until the signed Copyright Violation Notice is returned. Students will be able to use PC’s located in any of the labs on campus.
  3. All illegally obtained copyrighted material from the computer must be removed by the student.

Subsequent Violations

  1. A Copyright Violation Notice will be sent to the student’s Barry e-mail account, which will need to be printed, signed, and returned to the IT Support Desk in Library 226.
  2. Access to BarryNet via the residence halls and wireless will be denied for the remaining of the academic year. Students will be able to use PC’s located in any of the labs on campus.
  3. All illegally obtained copyrighted material from the computer must be removed by the student.
  4. The student will be referred to the Dean of Students for disciplinary action.

Plan to Effectively Combat Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Materials

The plan to "effectively combat" copyright abuse must be implemented and in writing. It must also be "periodically reviewed" using "relevant assessment criteria" as determined by each campus.

The University employs several deterrents to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials. While no one deterrent will be completely effective, the number of DMCA notices received by the University’s registered agent under the DMCA will be reviewed annually to determine if the deterrents below are effective.

Network Based Application Recognition (NBAR)

The university employs Network Based Application Recognition (NBAR) which is an inherent capability of our Cisco platform. This technology does packet level inspection of the traffic, which in the case of P2P traffic detection/blocking is very important to neutralize their evasion methods (continuously port changes).

The university employs a Network Access Control (NAC) platform, namely Impulse Point’s SafeConnect, to deter potential infringement of copyrighted materials by requiring clients joining Barry University’s wireless and residential network to install a client that enforces compliance with NAC policies. Policies currently include compliance for anti-virus and anti-spyware protection, operating system patches and peer-to-peer file sharing client control, and machines not in compliance are quarantined from network and Internet access. Machines found running peer-to-peer programs are quarantined, and a page listing the alternatives to illegal downloading listed on EDUCAUSE’s website is displayed.

Bandwidth Shaping

Traffic from peer-to-peer programs not routed through the Secure Web Gateway is capped at 100Kb/s across all bandwidth available for all peer-to-peer programs recognized by the bandwidth shaping appliance.

Traffic monitoring

The University does monitor bandwidth use to ensure bandwidth is available for mission critical applications, as well as for academic purposes. Network administrators follow up should aberrations in bandwidth usage be noticed.

DMCA Compliance

The University will act on DMCA notices, following the policy it has in place on DMCA Compliance and Action.

Products Designed to Reduce or Block Illegal File Sharing

The University has implemented a product called SafeConnect. Individuals running Windows and Macintosh operating systems who connect to the University’s wireless network and wired network in the residence halls are required to install the SafeConnect policy key. The policy key checks if any of the more common peer-to-peer applications are actively running. If so, the individual’s machine is quarantined from network and Internet access until the peer-to-peer program is disabled. A page listing the alternatives to illegal downloading listed on EDUCAUSE’s website is displayed.

In addition, HP Tipping Point intrusion protection/detection is used on all segments of the network, and uses layer 7 capabilities to detect unauthorized traffic, such as peer to peer traffic.

Alternatives to Illegal Downloading

Universities are required to periodically review the legal alternatives for downloading or otherwise acquiring copyrighted material and make the results of the review available to their students through a web site or other means.

Alternatives to unauthorized file sharing are available on EDUCAUSE’s website. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) also maintains a listing of alternatives.

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REVIEW CYCLE

The Plan to Effectively Combat Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Materials shall be reviewed annually to determine its effectiveness. The University will review the number of DMCA complaints received during the year to determine if the technology deterrents in place are effective. If a DMCA complaint is due to the circumvention of an existing technology deterrent in use by the University, the University will assess if any of them can be adjusted to prevent future unauthorized distribution. If an existing technology deterrent in use by the University cannot be adjusted to prevent future unauthorized distribution, the use of other technology based deterrents will be evaluated.

The Alternatives to Illegal Downloading will be reviewed annually, and these alternatives will be included in the Annual Disclosure sent to the students each year.

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