Policy to Combat the Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material
Goucher College has developed the following plan to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material by users of Goucher's network, without unduly interfering with educational and research use of the network. The plan includes the following:
- The use of one or more technology-based deterrents
In 2004, a resolution was passed by the Student Government (SGA) to block all incoming and outgoing peer-to-peer program (P2P) Internet traffic. The SGA took this action because of the high levels of spy ware and computer viruses and high bandwidth utilization associated with such programs and the use of these programs to transmit and receive copyrighted materials. Effective December 21, 2004, Goucher has blocked peer-to-peer file sharing for faculty, students, classroom computer workstations, and public workstations. Goucher has implemented PacketShaper technology to look for and block file-sharing programs. This software is updated continuously by the vendor.
- Mechanisms for educating and informing its community about appropriate versus inappropriate use of copyrighted material
Goucher's website contains extensive information about appropriate versus inappropriate use of copyrighted material. In addition, each year, during summer orientation, the college provides incoming students and parents with information about the SGA's decision to block peer-to-peer file sharing. This information is reinforced in the fall during the new student technology orientation session.
When students connect a laptop or computer workstation to the college network, they must first register the computer. The registration process requires the student to acknowledge that they have read the college's Computer Use Policy which informs the student to not use the college computing resources to inproperly access copyrighted material.
- Procedures for handling unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including disciplinary procedures
To be in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the college has designated an agent to receive notices of copyright infringement from copyright owners. If the college receives notification from a copyright owner that a network user has engaged in infringing activity, it will investigate the complaint, and, if appropriate, notify the user to take down the offending material and cease from engaging in such conduct. In addition, if the user violates copyright law by engaging in unauthorized file sharing, the user may be subject to discipline under the college's Copyright Policy, Computer Use Policy, and other applicable college policies. Users are informed that violations of copyright law may also subject the user to civil and criminal prosecution. See the Policies section of the Information Technology website.
- Procedures for periodically reviewing the effectiveness of the plans to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials by users of the institution's network using relevant assessment criteria
The vice president for technology and planning and the general counsel will meet annually to review the effectiveness of the college's existing plans to combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials. They will assess the effectiveness of the college's plans to combat the unauthorized use of the campus network to acquire copyrighted material using two criteria. First, they will review the number of DCMA notices that have been received by the college and the number of copyright violations detected through investigations of such notices. Second, the college will include in future external and internal technology security audits, which are conducted by an outside vendor, a review of the college's technology used to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials.
- Procedures to periodically review the legal alternatives for downloading or otherwise acquiring copyrighted material
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) provides students with recommendations for legal alternatives for listening or downloading music. The college's Information Technology webpage on Peer-to-Peer File Sharing and Copyright Law will always contain a link to this information for the campus community.
- Procedures to periodically notify the community of institutional policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement
The college will provide the community with an annual communication that includes:
- A statement that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject community members to civil and criminal liabilities;
- A summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws;
- A description of the institution's policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against community members who engage in illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the college's network and technology infrastructure; and
- The location on the college's website describing the legal alternatives for downloading or otherwise acquiring copyrighted material.