The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) identifies three requirements for higher education institutions in regards to unauthorized file sharing:
- An annual disclosure to students describing copyright law and University policies related to violating that law
- A plan to “effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials”
- A plan to “offer alternatives to illegal downloading”
This document describes King University’s approach to complying with these provisions and the University’s method for assessing compliance.
Distributing Annual Disclosure
Within the first three weeks of each fall semester, a disclosure statement will be sent via e-mail to all enrolled students. The actual disclosure statement to be used is attached to this document.
Combating Unauthorized Distribution
The University employs a traffic-limiting device which severely restricts peer-to-peer applications that are often used for illegal file sharing. The University also responds promptly to complaints submitted by copyright holders as per the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This response includes a preliminary investigation by Information Technology and possible disciplinary referral to Residence Life.
Offering Alternatives to Illegal Downloading
The University encourages students to use streaming and downloading from organizations which have acquired legal rights to distribute copyrighted materials. There are a large variety of such services:
- Major content producers (television networks, independent film producers, musicians), such as abc.com, nbc.com, and cbs.com.
- Streaming services with licensed content, such as hulu.com and pandora.com.
- Store sites that aggregate and sell content for downloading, such as iTunes and Google.
- As of the date of this writing (July 2010), Educause maintains an extensive list of sources for legal content.
As part of its routine assessment, Information Technology will document compliance with each major requirement of the HOEA in regards to file sharing (distributing annual disclosure, combating unauthorized distribution, offering alternatives to illegal downloading).
Computer Use Policy
1. Basic Principles
The University’s computing resources are for instructional, research, and administrative use by the students, faculty, and staff of King University. Ethical and behavioral standards which apply to other University activities (Honor Code, the Community Life Standards, and all local, state, and federal laws) apply equally to use of campus computing facilities.
Use of campus facilities is restricted to authorized users. For the purposes of this document, an “authorized user”’ shall be defined as an individual who has been assigned a login ID and password by Information Technology staff (on any relevant system), or by an authorized agent. Individual users are responsible for the proper use of their accounts, including the protection of their login ID’s and passwords.
Individuals should use only those computing facilities they have been authorized to use. They should use these facilities:
- in a manner consistent with the terms under which they were granted access to them
- in a way that respects the rights and privacy of other users
- so as not to interfere with or violate the normal, appropriate use of these facilities
- in a responsible and efficient manner
2. System Monitoring
This statement serves as notice to all users of campus computing systems that regular monitoring of system activities may occur.
Only the following persons are authorized to engage in system monitoring: the Vice President of Business Operations and the Chief Information Officer. Other individuals may engage in monitoring of systems for which they are responsible (e.g., the Director of the Library may monitor library automation and electronic database systems).
All individuals, including the members of the Information Technology Department staff, should respect the privacy of other authorized users. Thus they should respect the rights of other users to security of files, confidentiality of data, and the ownership of their own work. However, this does not prevent the staff from monitoring as indicated in section 2 if needed.
4. Prohibited Activities
The following list is intended to aid in interpreting the principles set out above; the list should not be construed as comprehensive. Examples of actions in violation of the approved principles are:
- Providing copyrighted or licensed software to others while maintaining copies for one’s own use, unless there is a specific provision in the license which allows this. This activity is forbidden even if the software is provided without cost for an educational purpose.
- Using software or documentation known to have been obtained in violation of the Copyright Law or a valid license provision. Use of a copyrighted program obtained from another party, for which no license exists that allows such a transfer, will be presumed to be knowing and the burden of demonstrating that the use was innocent will rest with the user.
- Using a copyrighted program on more than one machine at the same time, unless this is permitted by a specific license provision.
- Illegally downloading copyrighted media files including music and videos
- Copying any copyrighted printed documentation.
- Interfering with others’ legitimate use of computing facilities.
- Using the computer access privileges of others.
- Providing any unauthorized user with access to a personal login ID, or in any way allowing others access to a machine under one’s own name. This includes providing access to campus computing resources without the express written permission of the Information Technology Department.
- Intentionally creating, modifying, reading or copying files (including mail) to or from any areas to which the user has not been granted access. This includes accessing, copying, or modifying the files of others without their explicit permission.
- Disguising one’s identity in any way, including the sending of falsified messages, removal of data from system files, and the masking of process names. This prohibition includes sending electronic mail fraudulently.
- The establishment of any function which provides unauthorized users with access to King University computing resources, via the Internet connection or otherwise, without the written permission of the Information Technologies Department. For example, users may not install games which allow users to access academic computers without a valid login ID.
- Sending harassing or libelous messages via any digital means.
- Sending chain letters via electronic mail.
- Using University facilities to gain unauthorized access to computer systems off-campus.
- Use of campus computer facilities for commercial purposes without prior written permission.
- Attempting to interfere with the normal operation of computing systems in any way, or attempting to subvert the restrictions associated with such facilities.
The Annual Disclosure Statement
As part of the University’s requirements under the Higher Education Opportunity Act, please take the time to read the excerpt below from the student handbook concerning copyright and the summary of civil and criminal penalties for violation of copyright law.
Illegal Downloading and/or Sharing of Copyrighted Materials
King University’s network connections may not be used to violate copyright laws. The unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted materials, including illegal downloading or sharing of copyrighted music, movies, books, etc., is a serious violation of King University’s Network Usage Policy, the King University Honor Code, as well U.S. Copyright Laws.
Student Handbook, 2015
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. For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQ’s at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.
United States Department of Education, http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN1008.html , June 2010